Saturday, June 07, 2008

Luke #54 – Don’t Miss a Blessing

Luke #54 – Don’t Miss a Blessing

“And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, ‘Is not this Joseph's son?’ And He said unto them, ‘Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.’ And He said, ‘Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian’” (Luke 4:22-27 – King James Version).

When I was in the military I played a lot of basketball. It was a good way to stay in shape. Once I was the twelfth man on a twelve man team. I rarely even got to sit on the bench; most of the time I had to sit on the floor! Our unit had two teams and mid-way through the season I was switched to the other team because it was riddled with injuries. Pretty soon after the switch I played against my old team. Before the game, one of my old teammates jokingly said, “Take it easy on us.” I know the fellow was poking fun at me; most likely he thought I would sit the bench for my new team just like I’d done with my old team. I scored seventeen points that game. Another of my old teammates said, “How come you never did that for us?” My reply was to the point; “Because you guys never let me in the game.”

I think Jesus could relate to my story. The people of Nazareth never let Him in the game. They didn’t expect much from Jesus. They had only saw Him sit the proverbial bench. He took His miracles to another team, so to speak.

Perhaps the people of Nazareth expected special favor from a hometown boy. Surely they didn’t think He was the Messiah, but they did know that the hand of God was upon Him. They knew of His deeds in Capernaum; a place where Christ often was, and where He cured the centurion's servant of the palsy, and Peter's wife's mother of a fever, and another man sick of a palsy, and the woman of her bloody issue, and a man that had a withered hand, and where he raised Jairus's daughter from the dead. Perhaps they thought that Jesus owed them special favor. How could He show favor to a people who did not believe He was who He said He was?

Jesus used the examples of Elijah and Elisha. These two prophets were God’s messengers in a time when Israel was not living for God. The people took God for granted; were apathetic toward Him. They missed many blessings; so much so that God sent His prophets to do mighty works outside the covenant nation family of Israel. Jesus was illustrating how God would take His blessings where people would appreciate them; where people would believe Him.

How many times do we leave Jesus on the bench? How many times do we think we deserve some favor just because we know Him? How many times do live with a spirit of unbelief or apathy but want His miraculous power in our lives? How many times do we live like Jesus doesn’t exist until we want something from Him?

We cannot trifle with God. We cannot expect to live in unbelief concerning Jesus AND have Jesus do mighty works in our life. We cannot make Christ the twelfth man in our life. He must be given first place. He should not only be the star player in our lives, but the coach, manager and owner. Do you ever wonder why He is not working more in your life? What position does He occupy? We’d all better be careful…He might take His works to another team.

No comments: