Read Luke 4:14-30
“Truly I tell you,” [Jesus] continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. (Luke 4:24)
“As we see from the Scriptures, it had become a proverbial expression that if someone wanted to refer to a prophet, he called him a fool. — Martin Luther
Steve was a gifted high school student who was asked to serve on the music team of his church. He was reluctant, but agreed to pray about it. In time, he agreed.
Within a month of participating on the worship team, Steve noticed a disturbing trend. Team members were not there to lead worship, but instead to draw attention to themselves and impress their friends. Steve brought this to the attention of the pastor, who dismissed it as immature jealousy. Steve’s prophetic word was ignored and soon the music ministry collapsed.
Some say “familiarity breeds contempt.” One challenge of hometown living is allowing our children to become the unique persons God creates them to be. When we fail to do this, we overlook the Spirit of God who can do new things in unique ways. We also fail to hear what they might teach us about the world, about ourselves. Some of our best leaders and prophets move away because nobody in their hometown listens, nobody accepts them for who they become.
We don’t know what Jesus was like as a child, a teenager, or young adult. But we see that at 30, he is filled with the Spirit of God. He is a teacher who brings the kingdom of God down to earth. People who listen to him find great comfort and encouragement to lead holy and joyful lives; those held captive find release, the blind receive sight, the oppressed are set free. As Jesus teaches, those pushed down are lifted up.
We often place too great an emphasis on visible signs of authority. Prophets are people who speak God’s truth, regardless of social standing. They don’t need formal degrees or impressive titles. True prophets immerse themselves in the Word of God and regularly listen for what God is saying to them and, through them, to the world.
What might a modern-day prophet be saying to you, and to the world today?
How have you treated prophets in your life?
Open the eyes of our hearts and minds, Lord Jesus, to see those who speak for you and hear what you are saying through them.