All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips … All the people in the synagogue were furious … Luke 4:22 & 28

So furious in fact they were ready to kill him (verse 29). How quickly they changed their minds. Jesus had come with gracious words but he met violent opposition. Everything can change with one message. Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t telling them anything they didn’t already know. The stories that offended these people were from the Old Testament—stories they knew. Stories that spoke of God’s miraculous healing power for people who weren’t Jews.

God’s grace and mercy towards those who weren’t Jews, was offensive to these people. God was being nice to the wrong people! The wrong people were being blessed. Likewise, the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son was angry (Luke 15:28). His father was throwing a party for his undeserving brother. The wrong person was getting blessed. How do we react when we see apparent non-believers being blessed and godly people suffering? Do we become angry with God?

Some of us have been Christians for so long that we have forgotten what it’s like to be an outsider. We take God for granted. We start to feel a sense of entitlement. Yet the reality is we deserve nothing from God, except his wrath since we violate his holy standards. We deceive ourselves if we think that because we have been faithful we deserve his blessing. These verses teach us that it’s not enough to be faithful.

God’s desire for us is to reflect his heart of compassion for people, regardless of who they are, and whether or not we consider them deserving.

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