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In Nazareth-Jesus Rejected at Home, Jesus gives an example of a price we must pay to follow Him. In this lesson we'll examine three actions that reveal whether we have a heart after God. 

Harmony Of The Gospels Series 8, Luke 4:14-36

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ

Nazareth-Jesus Rejected at Home

This Scripture gives us great insight into the decision of Jesus to follow God's call had certain costs attached.  As we study His pain of rejection, we get a glimpse of ourselves.  Someone famous once wrote, "You can't go home again." It's true! After a number of years away from home, we're so different and see ourselves so differently, that the old way of life just doesn't fit like it did. This week we're going to look at Jesus' homecoming to where he'd been raised after being away for some time. We don't know exactly how long He'd been gone. We know His current home was in another town and He had spent at least the last 40 days in the wilderness around the Jordan River. His homecoming was much like we've all experienced, just a little more pronounced.

We've all been in this situation at some point when we return home for any reason. For me, I quickly realized I would be Little Glenny for the rest of my life to some people, no matter how important my achievements were to others. I was the last of 5 children, so I was never taken seriously even by my siblings. Maybe for some of you the nickname was little poo pants. Whatever it was, everyone in our old neighborhood seems to regard us in the same demeaning ways. It could be a pat on the head or a pinch of the cheek, or just a certain way they smile that tells us they aren't hearing a word we say.

If we're successful in any measurable way, it's even worse. No one wants to see us as we are-just as we were. They don't want to see us as having accomplished, but pride themselves in our achievement. I should point out that no one is trying to do this, it just comes naturally. Spiritually, this situation really gets out of hand. They all want us the same…God says change. We're conflicted. Fear of loss sets in. Do I follow God and risk the loss of my friends and relatives that can't accept the new me? Some stop right here and let go of God's calling. Others go on until God says, "talk to them about me." Now we're sure we'll lose some of them. What do we do?

This is where Jesus found Himself. He was at a fork in the road. One way led to the will of God; the other, the will of men. He knew, and His example teaches us:

The old life must die to make room for the new.
Except a seed fall to the ground and die, it cannot produce life.

We can respond to this truth from God in one of 3 ways; we can try to Cheat this Death, we can help Cause this Death for others, or we can Chase this death and embrace the new life that comes with it.

1. Cheating Death: We really should call this cheating life. By trying to hold on to the past life, friends, family and neighbors, we block the future life and all it has in store for us. Mt 5:11-12 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." It seems everyone wants to focus on the price of following God, but no one talks about the price of not following. Which cost is greater? Jesus said anyone who loses father, mother, etc. for his sake will gain them back many times over, and eternal life, to boot.

Jonah can tell us the price of not following God. He was a prophet for God. God told him to talk to some of Israel's enemies about God. Jonah said, 'No! If I tell them about you, they will come to you and you will forgive them. I want you to punish them instead!" Jonah may have forgotten which one of them was God. Like I do, sometimes. Anyway, as Jonah was running away, God reminded him with a fish (who swallowed him) just which one was God. So, the fish vomited him onto the shore of the people he was supposed to talk to. Can you imagine what he looked like when he was telling them about God? He talked, they listened, God forgave them, Jonah got mad at God.

Continued at Nazareth-Jesus Rejected At Home-2

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