Acceptance Followed by Rejection
August 11 - Nº 223 John 4:43-54; Luke 4:16-30
Jesus left Samaria and continued his journey into Galilee. His first stop was in Cana where he had turned the water into wine (see #218 - Jesus' First Miracle). The people were excited that he had returned. Many of them had heard about the wedding miracle and the amazing things he had done in Jerusalem (see #219 - Jesus Cleans Out the Temple). One of the people who was aware of Jesus’ supernatural power was a royal official who was stationed in Capernaum (about 17 miles away). This man’s son was extremely sick. The official hurried to Cana and pleaded with Jesus to come quickly to heal his son before he died. Jesus said, “You are probably like so many others. Unless you see a miracle, you won’t believe.” Then testing the official, Jesus said, “You may go. Your son will live.” Without seeing the results, this Gentile man, who probably didn’t know much about the Messiah, trusted Jesus. He headed back to his home. While he was on the way, his servants met him with great news—his son was alive and doing well! “What time did he get better?” the official asked. “His fever left him yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon,” they replied. The father knew that this was exactly when Jesus had said that his son was healed. The man’s entire household put their trust in Jesus as their Messiah. After spending some time in Cana, Jesus went to Nazareth where he had grown up. On the Sabbath, he went to the synagogue as he normally did. As a visiting rabbi, he was expected to read the Scripture that week and comment on it. He was handed the scroll of Isaiah, and he stood up to read: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. . .” He stopped in the middle of the sentence, rolled up the scroll, and handed it to the attendant. Then he sat down to teach. All eyes in the synagogue were on him as he spoke. He began by saying, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Everyone knew that this passage referred to the coming Messiah. At first, they were excited and amazed at Jesus’ words. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son who grew up in our town?” But Jesus knew what was in their hearts. He said, “I know that you heard about the miracle I did for the Gentile official from Capernaum and you want me to do miracles for you, too. But the saying is true, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own town.’ You have heard about the famine during the time of Elijah. There were many widows in Israel, yet God sent Elijah to take care of a widow in a Gentile country (see #137 - Elijah and the Widow). And during the time of Elisha, there were many Jewish people with leprosy, but God healed a military leader from Syria (see #151 - Naaman and the Servant Girl). Both of these Gentiles believed before they actually received a miracle. Miracles are based on belief—not on someone’s credentials or ethnicity.” The people in the synagogue were furious! They grabbed Jesus and led him out of town intending to throw him off a cliff. But miraculously he escaped.
Does your faith waver depending on whether or not God comes through for you the way you want him to? Or do you trust Him regardless of how He might choose to answer your specific requests? True faith has no strings attached.