Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying a story where Jesus tried to teach about himself and his mission in his hometown, and was almost run off a cliff.
The people in his hometown were prejudiced – they believed they knew who Jesus was already – a carpenter’s son and nothing more.
We may not have seen Jesus grow up, but we can still be prejudiced about him.
Think back over time times in your life you’ve heard about Jesus, encountered Christians, or connected with churches. How have they impacted your view of Jesus? Did they represent him well, or leave you scarred?
Even if you haven’t had a bad experience with those who claim to represent Jesus, lots of people in your life will.
They may have rejected him based on those experiences, and haven’t had a fair chance to judge Jesus on his own merits.
The worst thing you can do for such a person is to judge them yourself, to write them off as a lost cause. What they need is to meet Jesus in what you say and do.
Think of those hard to love people in your life. Your boss, client, professor, colleague, direct report, whoever.
If they met Jesus tomorrow, what would they have learned from your words and actions?
Let them see him. They may still reject him, but they wouldn’t be alone. The whole world rejected Jesus like the people in his hometown. But he was rejected FOR us, not just BY us. We deserved God’s rejectance, but instead he took the rejection we deserved, and suffered instead.
It’s his rejection, even by those who rejected him, that’s ultimately fulfilled the verses from Isaiah he read from a scroll that day, and that makes him worth embracing.
Challenge: Reread Luke 4:18-20. Jesus was reading from Isaiah, and he declared himself the fulfillment of these verses. How has he fulfilled these things in your life? How do you need him to? Pick someone in your life who fits into one of those “hard-to-love” categories. Go out of your way to show love to that person this week.