Luke 4:24 (KJV) 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
Not all believers hold the office of a prophet, but we share the task of the prophets in proclaiming God’s Word to the people. Because of that, many of us share the same experience of not being accepted by people who somewhat know us. We’re not adversely affected by this; this is naturally expected. Some people would be hurt or crushed if given even a bit of the treatment we as God’s ambassadors receive. But not us; we grow stronger through every rejection and maltreatment dealt us.
Our precious Lord Jesus Himself is our example. He didn’t just teach this; He experienced it. He came to the world He created, and He was vehemently rejected. But it wasn’t His loss. God is never at a disadvantaged. However hostile people act towards Him, He always comes up on top, and those who treat Him as their enemy always end up at the bottom. How can a refusal of the greatest Being and the source of all blessings be beneficial? How does that make sense? How can that be a victory for the arrogant?
We’re God’s messengers; nothing stops us. Just because there are those who don’t accept us doesn’t mean no one accepts us. A lot of times, God thrills us with very pleasant surprises that make our hearts jump in extreme delight. He raises up people who understand us, who value us, who reap the benefits of listening to the Word of God we declare, words they believe and receive. It’s not that we’re looking for approval; we don’t serve God just to please men. But it’s amazingly delightful finding ourselves in the company of believers and fellow “prophets.”
Luke 3:18 (AMP) 18 So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people.
John courageously prepared the way for the Lord Jesus through bold exhortations and preaching. He unflinchingly told it like it was. Doctrine, correction, rebuke, instruction – whatever was necessary, He spoke clearly, and bravely – no batting of eyelids, no fear of the potential of unescessarily offending others. He preached what people needed to hear – wanted or not. He preached the bad news and the good news. Despite being associated often only with radical rebukes, He did both: appealed and preached the Good News.
News ought to be uncompromisingly truthful. This is our special call as privileged bearers of the eternal truth. Many a times, there’s a tendency to gravitate towards either the pleasant, encouraging words or the fearful warnings and judgments. Those who joyfully preach the God of love look down on those who still engage in preaching hellfire and brimstone as preachers of legalism and condemnation. Those who adamantly preach about the God of holiness and justice look down on those who continually preach on the God of grace and mercy as shallow, compromising and advocates of licentiousness. Faithfulness requires fullness of the message. No matter what’s our propensity or inclination, no matter what’s our preference, we are to boldly speak them all: bad news and good news. Different personalities will yield different approaches – some, even interesting ones; it’s great; let’s just make sure we proclaim the same full Scripture message.
Dear God may we be faithful bearers of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – in love, with wisdom and gentleness, so help us God.