Luke 4:24-30 .
To always stand on the truth is one of the challenging tasks that Christians of these days face. When you stand on the truth always, many people are going to hate and fight you. This is why many Christians pretend and prefer to play the chameleon. Sometimes we do this so that no one will tag us as someone evil.
Sometimes, we prefer to lie, betray and fight a cold war rather than to come out to say the truth. Hence, we feel that when we stand on the truth, we may offend someone close to us. This makes us hide and become silent even in the face of evil.
Jesus At Nazareth.
In Luke 4:24-30, Jesus goes to the synagogue at his hometown of Nazareth. There, He openly tells the people that He knows that they are expecting Him to work miracles. Just like He did in Capernaum.
He tells them that truly, no prophet is accepted in His hometown. Despite that, there are many widows in Elijah’s time, but God sent him to a widow at Zarephath. Also In Elisha’s time, though there were many lepers in Israel at that time, none of these were cured except Naaman the Syrian.
Because of this statement, His people attack Him. They take Him up to throw Him down, but He slips away from them.
The offence Jesus committed was that He said the truth. When you always stand on the truth, many people will even pray to see your end. Some will begin to work against you in secret.
The Expectation of the People.
As Jesus opens the scroll in Luke 4, He tells the people in verse 23 that He knew that they are expecting Him to work miracles.
The people expected to see Jesus perform signs and wonders, but instead of doing that, Jesus tells them their sins on their face.
The first lesson here is that, with this attitude, you would know that what the people want is not what Jesus was saying. Their interest is not to hear his word and do it. They are not interested to know who He is. Their only interest was to see miracles. When they heard the hard truth, they became angry.
1. Sometimes, when we also go in the presence of God, we become only interested in what the Lord can do, and when we do not see it, we become angry and infuriated and even lose hope in God.
Today, we are no longer interested in what God says to us. We want to see miracles, signs and wonders. When it looks as if this is not coming, we lose hope and even become angry with God.
2. Sometimes, when we also hear the word and what we hear seems to address what we do and our sinful acts, we feel the preacher is attacking us personally. Hence, we become angry without even the preacher knowing that some people have grudges for Him because of what He said.
Truth is Bitter.
Today, to say the truth in the face of oppression, discrimination, immorality, tribalism, evil etc, seems to become an offence.
When someone stands by the truth, the people who feel so affected hence become angry and look for a way to shut the mouth up. Today, many people easily attack the clergy or their priests because they stood and spoke against injustice in the parishes, state and country.
Many are not happy with them, not because they did anything evil but because they are not on the side of injustice and evil. We prefer people to sing our praises even when we know that what we are doing is not good.
Many innocent souls are suffering today because they are on the side of truth. When you stand on the truth, many will hate and attack you for nothing. We see this in our families, villages, places of work, state and country. Truth is bitter, but to say the truth and stand by it, is the only way we can survive.
Today, we prefer to be flattered by people rather than allowing them to correct our mistakes where we are not doing well. When we hear the truth about what we do in the secret and open, we tend to become offended and angry. But this is the way to survive.
Only the truth shall set us free. So when you always stand by the truth, people may attack you, hate you, and say all sorts of things against you, but do not be depressed. Like what happened to Jesus today, there is nothing man can do to you if God does not allow that. In the end, the truth of the whole matter will reveal itself. God always vindicates the innocent.
May God help us to always stand by the truth. May He give you the grace to overcome every challenge and oppression. Amen