Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Welcome HOME....NOT! - Luke 4:24

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Welcome Home…..NOT!
Luke 4:24
“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”
If there is one place on this earth that I want to feel welcome at all times, it is at home.  Now, I will admit, when I speak of home, I am referring to the place where my parents reside, my grandfather’s house, and the place where I pay the mortgage.  I will use the phrase “Going Home” to refer to either one of these places and I know that I am truly blessed to be able to say so and mean it.  I have several friends who are not moved one way or the other when it comes to visiting the home of their parents or grandparents.  That is not my testimony.  I enjoy the thought of going home away from my own home.  Now, I do not want you to have an idea that things have always been perfect at home or that everything has always been in order at either one of my homes, but I can say that even when things were challenging – I was still welcome to come home. 
BlogFam, what about you?  Where is home for you?  How do you feel when you think about going home?  Have there ever been challenging moments in time when you did not want to go home? 
As I read this verse, spoken by Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, I am somewhat saddened by the reality that this statement carries the truth that it does.  From the very beginning of His earthly ministry, He knows that He will be rejected by those from His own Hometown.
“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”
Whether you have pleasant or passive thoughts about home, this statement from Jesus is not very encouraging.  So, what are we to glean from this statement?  What are we to learn from this Holy declaration?  How are we to understand this verse in context and in present day reality?
When Jesus makes this statement, He has just completed a reading from the Prophet Isaiah in the midst of the people in the temple.  They stare at Him for it seems that they have heard this scripture in a fresh way.  Jesus confirms that the prophetic word He has just read has indeed been fulfilled in their hearing.  They are amazed and they probably do not fully understand why.  Then Jesus continues to speak.  He shares illustrations from the lives of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha, illustrating the reality of this controversial statement about the rejection of prophets.  Then the people get mad and they rise up to throw Jesus out of the city.  [Can we say, overreaction?]  They lead Him to a cliff so that they can throw Jesus off of the cliff but that did not happen.  Jesus passed through the crowd.  He left and He taught elsewhere.
Friends, I think that one of the most important words in this verse is not the welcoming or the acceptance of one in their own hometown, but the identity of the one who will be rejected.  Jesus specifically refers to the prophet. “No PROPHET is accepted in his hometown.”  I submit to you all today that whether or not you have a prophetic gift, this verse has a far reaching impact to include those who speak a word on behalf of the Kingdom of God.  In other words, a prophet is not limited to someone who foretells the future.  A prophet is one who declares the truth of the Word of God with authority and conviction in a timely manner and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  And Jesus knows that one of the most challenging places to speak truth and to take a stand against anyone or anything that needs to hear the Word of the Lord through you is at home, or in your hometown. 
For you see, your home folks, remember you when….  They remember.  They remember when you were not so saved.  They remember when you got in trouble for this or that.  They remember your most embarrassing moment. Your home folks remember.  They remember what you have tried to forget. They remember what you know you have not done in 10 days, 10 months, 10years.  They remember and because of the long memories of your hometown, they will likely reject the Word of the Lord that they so desperately need to hear from you. And not only do they remember, their idea of who you are or who you are to become does not include one who speaks with Godly authority.  Just as it is hard for you to see things that are closest to you, it is also, at times, just as hard for those closest to you to see you in the way that God sees you and has called you to serve in the Kingdom of God.
In this passage, the people in the company of Jesus remembered and they had already formed in their minds the lot of our Lord.  Jesus was Joseph’s boy.  Jesus station in life was to be a carpenter, not a rabbi and certainly not one who was fit to declare the truth of the Word of God with authority and conviction.  Jesus read from the Prophet Isaiah and they were amazed.  Then he declares a prophetic word that would describe His life and the true nature of their hearts.  And just after he speaks, adding His commentary on the prophets, they fulfill the word that He has just spoken.  They reject Him and try to kill Him and Jesus walks away.  Jesus does not walk away because He is scared or because He is a coward or because He does not believe in what He has to share.  He walks away because it was more important for Him to leave than for Him to frustrate God’s purpose in staying where the Word would fall on deaf ears. 
BlogFam, I am so grateful for Jesus’ example in this passage.  I know what it feels like to be rejected and silenced in the place you love to call home.  At the same time, I am grateful that Jesus’ ministry did not stop because he was rejected.  He walked away.  He moved on and so can we. 
My sistas and brothas, I pray that as we all strive to be witnesses on behalf of the Kingdom of God, I pray that we would never allow other’s rejection to frustrate God’s purpose and then we thereby settle on doing nothing.  Friends, as the Spirit leads you, walk away, like Jesus did.  Find a new place, like Jesus did.  And continue to serve and speak for God – even if it is away from home, like Jesus did.  The work of the Kingdom must go on and we cannot compromise our call for the comforts of home.  The Word is true...
“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
Black History Month - Quote of the Day:
I am an invisible man.... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. ~Ralph Ellison
God Loves You and I do too!
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
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Believe in God.
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