Acceptance Can Be Unacceptable

The Spirit of the Lord is on me... to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.  Luke 4:18-19

Jesus continued, "No prophet is accepted in his hometown." Luke 4:24

The original words for 'favor' in 4:19 and for 'acceptable' in 4:24 are actually the same word, with a range meaning something like favor, welcome, acceptance, blessing. When Luke wrote this (in Greek), he captured one of the crucial insights of this moment by using the exact word with two very different responses. It's called irony.

Luke makes sure that we know how ironic it is that Jesus was not accepted precisely because he told people that they were indeed accepted. Jesus had this habit of being wildly welcoming - and those who thought of themselves as on the inside of the religious establishment did not like welcoming those they wanted on the outside. So they put Jesus on the outside.

How many times do we do that?  How many times do we miss out on getting close to Jesus because the kind of people he brings into our lives don't jive with who we want in our lives. We exclude people because of their personality, their class, their education, their skin color, their political views, the sexual orientation, or their religion. Jesus keeps on proclaiming welcome, even when we don't. Maybe it's time for us to confess how uncomfortable Jesus makes us with all the people that he wants to invite into his family with us! 

Take some time to confess the names of people or groups of people you don't feel comfortable with or whom you don't want to be in the family with you. Ask Jesus to forgive you, and to give you more opportunity to be with those people! (he loves answering that prayer).

p.s. Please keep on praying for kids camp - we had 96 kids show up today and had a wild, exciting, and exhausting time focusing on how Jesus meets us in our loneliness.