If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.

Exodus 15:26

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. 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.’”

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.

Luke 4:22-28

How sad to be a faithless people, excluding your own from the grace and miracles of God by unbelief by something far worse than mere ignorance. Jesus was not antagonizing the Nazarenes when he went to them and they did not accept him. He spoke to them with the same message that he gave to all of Israel but they were not ready to acknowledge the Word because of their familiarity with the messenger.

Do we as Christians hold back Jesus from working in the world by our familiarity with him? Do we say “God can’t do this” or “prayers can’t help that”? Are we so sure we know Jesus that we tell him what he is capable of?

Ethan Kirl