Wisdom We Won't Listen To

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”

                                                                        -Luke 4:22-24

 To quote author Dallas Willard: Jesus isn’t just nice. He is brilliant. And one of the things Jesus was brilliant about was public speaking.  The home town crowd loved his opener.

But Jesus knows an important principle about crowds: crowds are fickle. This hometown crowd is fickle. Your Facebook newsfeed is fickle. Your extended family is fickle. Your neighborhood list serve is fickle. Our nation’s voting patterns are fickle.

And Jesus points out a principle that we see throughout the Scriptures: the hometown crowds are notoriously fickle. They love the idea of a hometown kid making it big as a prophet, but if that prophet has a message that is in any way difficult to hear, they reject the prophet and the message.

What this principle means is that any given community will likely ignore and reject a source of wisdom if it comes from one of their own.  If we knew her or him when they had braces and were fighting back zits as a kid, we’re less likely to take them seriously when they’re an adult. 

The question for us today: is there someone that we’re dismissing in part because we’ve known them? Is there a message or messenger that you’re not listening to because this principle of rejecting the hometown person, the familiar person, the one who’s been one of us, is in play in your life?

Take a moment to consider if you’re dismissing a hometown messenger or their message simply because you’ve known them.  Ask the Lord to make you open His wisdom and truth, no matter who the source or instrument might be.

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