Have you ever noticed how cross cultural the bible is? That over and over God reaches across societal barriers.
I was just reading in about day 1 of Jesus’ ministry from Luke 4, when Jesus went back to his home town of Nazareth. It was the Sabbath day when he stood up and made the bold declaration of who he was reading from Isaiah that he had the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord to preach good news, set captives free, recover sight to the blind, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He then declared today all this is fulfilled in me! Yay! He’s our messiah, thought the Jews and they “all spoke well of him” (vs 22).
Then the curve ball. The in your face statement that “no prophet is accepted in his home town” (vs 24). He then referred to Elijah being sent to a widow in Sidon, a socially unacceptable person from the Canaanite people, not the Israelites. And Elisha the prophet being sent to cure a social outcast who was a general from an opposing army, Naaman the leprous Syrian general, not the Israelites who suffered from the same disease.
Immediately right after “all spoke well of him” the people were “furious” (vs 28) and “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 thrown him down the cliff” (vs 29).
This vicious reaction was because Jesus came for those far from him and, in the opinion of the religious establishment, not deserving because they were different and not acceptable because they were not of Jewish descent.
Thank God that indeed many of us gentiles, non-Jews, are the direct benefactors of the Messiah of the Jews! Hallelujah! Let’s get out of our comfort zones and realize indeed Jesus is not ours to keep but ours to share. Even with those very different than us.