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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Twenty Four

Matthew 13:54-58 tells a sad story of Jesus going home. He went to Nazareth and began to teach in the synagogue, but the congregation did not accept him as a conquering hero or a welcome him as a hometown boy making his mark. He hasn't been to school or followed the great teachers. Where did he get this wisdom and miracles? Isn't he the son on that carpenter Joseph. His other sons seem normal, and his daughters are all right. But that Jesus! 

Jesus  preached to them and asked if they had people he could bless, but they did not respond. Then he told them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and his own household." He did not do many works there because they lacked faith. There were a few sick people there whom he laid hands on and healed.(Mark 6:3)

Luke also recounts the trip to Nazareth in 4:16-28. In the synagogue he entered to  participate in the worship. He was given the scroll and he read from Isaiah 61:1-2b. Everyone was speaking well of him until they began to change. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" somebody said. 

"No prophet is accepted in his hometown," Jesus said. He again quoted from Isaiah in rebuke of their anger. The crowd became enraged and attempted to drive him off the edge of the hill the town was built on, but he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

When you go back to your hometown, you hope they remember you and love you and are glad to see you. Jesus knew better. He came to preach and teach a new message. We need to be ready to hear his words with new ears and love in new ways.