A Heart of Faith

January 14, 2021

23 Then he said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. What we’ve heard that took place in Capernaum, do here in your hometown also.’” 24 He also said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 But I say to you, there were certainly many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months while a great famine came over all the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them except a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time, there were many in Israel who had leprosy, and yet not one of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. 29 They got up, drove him out of town, and brought him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl him over the cliff. 30 But he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

Luke 4:23-30

Written by Kari Moore from the Brentwood Campus

Have you ever been wrong, but REALLY thought you were right?

The people in Nazareth’s synagogue that day were very, very wrong. They were the “good” “religious” people of their town. They were outwardly pious, but it was just a façade. Their hearts were hard and unbreakable.

Jesus confronted them with the reality of their condition by providing two unlikely comparisons: a widow and a military man, both foreigners, both from spiritually dark areas. The widow was preparing her last meal, when she was asked to trust God. Her miracle was her faith. The secondary miracle was provision. Their food did not run out!

Naaman was a great military leader afflicted with leprosy who went searching for a miraculous cure from the God of Israel. Elisha told him to go and wash seven times in the Jordan River to be healed. So simple. How could it be? Naaman humbled himself, and in faith he did what Elisha directed. Miraculous healing was the result.

At the synagogue that day in Nazareth, Jesus saw the hearts in the crowd. Their secret was out, and Jesus showed them that their faith was dead. Humbling faith wasn’t an option, because they couldn’t admit defeat. Their guilt gave birth to fury, and they drove Jesus out of town.

As Christians, we should be constantly praying as the psalmist did in Psalm 26:2. “Test me, Lord, and try me; examine my heart and mind.” God’s answer might make you feel defeated, angry or sad. You might want to deny it or bury it like these people in Nazareth did.

Don’t fall for Satan’s easy solution! God promises to “remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so that they will follow my statues, keep my ordinances, and practice them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20).

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Is there an area of your life where your heart is hard? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you don’t want to hear?
  2. Where is God calling you to step out in faith like the widow or Naaman? What are your first steps?
  3. You are going to mess up. Some days you are going to look more like those at the synagogue. What truths will you cling to when that happens? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Missions Prayer
Pray for ministries today that work to reach and minister to the homeless in Middle Tennessee. Pray for the overnight guests we host each Monday night from November through March in cooperation with Room in the Inn, and our weekly volunteers. For information reach out to [email protected].

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