There are some messages that are difficult to hear. There are some things that people tell us that we just do not want to accept. There are lots of reasons for that. But, even when the message is the truth and something that is helpful for us, we still can block it out because it simply isn’t what we want to hear and accept.
Those in the scripture for today have found themselves in a similar situation. Luke 4:21-30
We see that they are very upset with what Jesus has said. But, it can be difficult to realize what is going on that has made them so upset…and upset quite quickly.
Let’s look at what it was about Jesus’ message that might have upset them…
First, they recognize Jesus – He is in his own country…people know who He is…they have seen Him with Joseph…they obviously know Him as one of them. And, here Jesus is reading in the synagogue speaking with authority.
That is quite a big deal. It can also be quite exciting for them. They see someone they know in this position. It could be that they thought Jesus would give them special favor because He is one of them. It could be that they heard a message they wanted to hear rather than what was spoken. They could have been filtering the message through their own minds. Maybe they were considering their own advantages.
Whatever they were thinking…they were glad He was there…or at least at that moment they were. But, Jesus knows what is going on – He knows what they are thinking.
Jesus presses on and gives them a comparison with stories they would know well. He reminds them of Elijah and Elisha. What is important about what He is telling them?
In the times of Elijah and Elisha, the people of Israel are in need. Guess what? They were at that time too. They were in need of a Savior.
In both of the stories, the scripture indicates that both were sent…In other words, they were doing what they were told to do by God, not by their own ideas. They were being obedient.
What about who they were sent to? Elijah was sent to a widow…a non-Jew…one of lower economic status. Elisha was sent to a non-Jew…a Syrian with a disease…who would have been excluded from society for being unclean.
What was the point? Jesus is beginning to indicate what He is doing there and what He is about. He is indicating that He is being sent and that He has come with good news to the poor, those who were in need, those who were suffering. He indicates later that He came to those who were in need of a physician.
This is NOT the message they wanted to hear. They wanted Him to be there for them, the way they wanted Him, and to do what they wanted. Instead of opening their hearts and minds to Him, they chose to get rid of Him.
What does that have to do with us today?
How many times have we read in the Bible or heard in a message something we just didn’t like to hear? How many times have we been faced with truth that we wanted to block out so we force it out and move on? How many times have we rejected the truth because the truth is not what we want?
We can easily find ourselves wanting to make Jesus into someone He is not…we try to force Him into our box…we use Him for our needs but aren’t willing to live for Him daily…We want the loving, caring Jesus but don’t want the judge…the Sovereign Lord…the Jesus of the Bible.
What is the message that Jesus is trying to get through to you that you are rejecting because it isn’t what you want to hear? It might help us understand who He is and not who we want Him to be.