“Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.” (Luke 4:24)
In truth, the grass always looks greener on your neighbour’s lawn. There is a natural human tendency amongst humans to look down on what they have. There is the saying in pidgin: “pikin wei say he mama soup no sweet nai dey chop poison outside.” The people that saw Jesus grow up from his childhood days could not bring themselves to the realization that Jesus is God among men.
When Jesus went to their synagogue, He was amazed at their lack of faith. Jesus did not do many miracles there but He had to confront them with the bitter truth. “No prophet is acceptable in his own country” In other words: Why do you always look down on what is yours? It is because of this attitude that Elijah was sent to Zarephath. There were many lepers in your town but none of them was healed except Naaman the Syrian.”
This did not go down well with Jesus’ audience. They took Jesus out of the city and led Him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built intending to throw him down headlong. But Jesus escaped. This is always the fate of those who are bold enough to tell people the truth. The question now is: “Do I value what is my own?”
Naaman almost lost out of his supernatural healing because he looked down at the Jordan River. Of course, it was not the cleanest river in the world. Thanks to his servant who spoke sense into his head; it wasn’t the water itself that would cleanse him but his faith in God.
Some people argue that unless baptism is done in the river, it is not valid since Jesus was baptised in a river. Following the strength of this argument, one may say unless baptism is done in the very river that Jesus was baptised, it is not valid. Just as it wasn’t the river that cured Naaman, water by itself does not wash our sins but God.
Do not make the mistake of the people of Nazareth. Be content with what is yours. Value your own. Value the Church, understand its sacraments. Deepen your faith.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase faith in me. Amen
Bible Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15, Ps.42:2-3,42:3-4, Luke 4:24-30).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu