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December 29 – Following the Call of God

We tend to put a lot of pressure on hometown heroes, or famous people we might have a tenuous connection with. When a celebrity comes home, we burden them with expectations because, they’re famous and they’re from our home town, when they may have come only to see family and get some rest away from the problems of their current world. That’s why celebrities often hide behind sunglasses when they don’t want to be recognized. Jesus went back to Nazareth when, not only was He gaining a reputation for His miracles, He couldn’t hide the fact that He was there. He walked into the synagogue, as was His custom, and got to read the Scriptures that day. “’The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” (Luke 4:18-21 NIV)

The other reason Jesus didn’t hide was because He had a job to do. He didn’t lower expectations, He raised them. He took a messianic prophecy, read it in the synagogue and told His hometown folks that this applied to Him. That’s when the hometown familiarity really hit hard. “Little Jesus said what? I knew Him when He used to play with my kids. Good kid, never any problems with Him, but the Messiah? No way!” Jesus proclaimed His mission to the people who raised Him, and those who grew up with Him. It as a mission of peace, healing, caring, and proclamation. He was going to be a politician, a doctor, a civil rights activist, and a preacher all at the same time. When a child does this, we smile and pat them on the head. Jesus was no longer a child. He was a man who needed to care for His family and here He was, in effect, telling people that He was the Messiah. That caused an amazing ruckus.


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