And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:22-27 ESV
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13 ESV
Abraham Lincoln lived in Springfield, Illinois for many years, and pretty much considered it his hometown. When he left Springfield to become the President of the United States, he gave a speech to the people of Springfield where he said, “No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried.” But after he became the president, some of the people of Springfield became unhappy with Mr. Lincoln. These people had hoped that he would give them special privileges and jobs in the nation’s capital because they had been friends in Springfield, and Lincoln didn’t always do this. He gave jobs to other people instead of favoring his old friends in his hometown.
The people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth were also unhappy with Jesus. They had heard that he had done some miracles in other places, and they thought that they should have some special privileges from Jesus and see some especially exciting miracles. But Jesus told them that he wasn’t going to do miracles just to satisfy their curiosity or to give them a show. He reminded them of stories from the past, when Elijah and Elisha helped people who weren’t even part of Israel while the people of Israel didn’t receive any special miracles from God. He was reminding them that God’s love is for all people, and not just a few special people who came from the right town or the right group.
Sometimes we might hear about how God gives special help or a blessing to someone else, and doesn’t seem to hear or answer our prayers in the same way. We sometimes might feel as if it isn’t fair. We might even start to compare ourselves to the other person and feel as if we deserve more from God than that person does. But the Lord doesn’t want us to treat prayer as if it is an order at a fast food restaurant, which should be filled quickly and exactly the way we want it. Instead, God wants us to come to him in prayer because he is our loving Heavenly Father, and to trust that he will help us in the best way and in the best time. He helps us to remember the most wonderful way he answered our needs, when he came to us in Jesus and died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. Because of Jesus, we have God’s love and help every day, and we can trust him to take care of us now and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving and forgiving us in Jesus. Help us to trust you to take care of us in the best way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.