Two Prophets Rejected (Mt 13:53-14:12)
After teaching the parables of the Kingdom, Jesus went to His hometown to teach.
Ahh home, the place where you’re loved and respected, right? That’s not what Jesus found. It is not an uncommon thing for a prophet or messenger of God to be rejected by God’s own people, usually represented by the religious and/or civil leadership of the day.
Jesus mentioned this fact to the people of His day. (Matt 23:35) Before he was falsely accused and cruelly crucified, He openly shared with His disciples the magnitude of the brutality about to be inflicted upon Him. (Mt 20:17-19) He warned His disciples that they would have a similar fate. (Mt 23:34; Mt 10:21-25)
Matthew recorded the drastic rejection of the greatest prophets of all times: Jesus, not only Prophet, but High Priest and King, and John the Baptist, the greatest before Him since history began. Let’s look at both of these…
In His hometown, Jesus was rejected
We’ve spoken before about the fact that Jesus was unable to do many miracles around the unbelieving and we see it again here. Familiarity breeds contempt and the people Jesus grew up around knew exactly who He was in the natural. As a human, He was completely unexceptional. They did not understand the spiritual world and therefore could not comprehend that the Kingdom of Heaven was manifesting in and through this Jesus whom they had grown up with
Do you look for the spiritual life in a person when you are speaking with them? With people you just meet? With people you’ve known for a long time?
We can’t receive a spiritual man or woman using the wordly standards that we so often slip into. We won’t see who they really are. God has made each person unique and perfect. And yet each one is also beset by sin. Can you separate those two when you speak to them? Can you look deeper into what God is doing to, in, or through them? We must become more sensitive to the things of the Spirit if we are to live the calling He has for us and this is most important when interacting with others.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Mt 10:40-42)
When we receive a prophet, we will receive a reward. This blessings is not usually a physical reward, but more importantly a spiritual blessing, but this can be physical as in the case of Elijah and Elisha (Luke 4:23-27)
John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod
I only want to make a quick point here. It is naturaly for us to feel that John received the worst treatment ever by God. He was called the greatest prophet and then shortly after, he is beheaded. It’s important to see though that He fulfilled his calling. His work in the timeline of history was amazing, and it was time for him to be less so that Jesus could be more.
I want to take away from this the full awareness to not be discouraged when facing evil or suffering that doesn’t seem “fair” or “right”. Eternal life and our reward in heaven are much more valuable.
If you haven’t, you really ought to read the post from yesterday about the website here. I hope you’ll invite others to contribute to what we’re doing here.