Right after Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days, He launched His earthly ministry and returned to Galilee. He began teaching in local synagogues and performing many miracles so that word about Him spread throughout the whole region. However, when He entered His hometown of Nazareth, the reception was not as positive. On the Sabbath, He went into the sanctuary — presumably the same one He had been in hundreds of times growing up — and began reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah, after which He boldly proclaimed that He was its fulfillment. Unfortunately, rather than becoming excited at the thought that their hometown boy was someone special, the Nazarenes were skeptical. Though they were curious at first, when Jesus proved that He could read the thoughts and attitudes of their hearts and called them out on their doubt, they freaked. In fact, they became so angry that they tried to throw Him off a cliff! Although they would gladly have shared in His glory had there been a benefit to them, they couldn’t stand the thought of receiving instruction from someone who had grown up in their midst. After all, He was just Joseph’s son — one of the kids who used to play in the village and work in His father’s carpenter shop. While it must have been difficult to face this kind of rejection by those He hoped would support Him, Jesus had to leave hometown opinions behind in order to step into His calling. While they wanted Him to go back to being “ordinary” so they felt more comfortable, He needed to press on and embrace the work He had been sent to accomplish — a salvation mission for the whole world.
My friend, as Jesus’ disciple, your call is more important than your comfort. While it’s hurtful to be rejected by the ones you thought would be there to cheer you on, the weight of your mission demands that you surrender your desire for approval. Yes, letting go of the past is a challenge, especially when culture tells you that your success is predicated on making others happy, but you must be willing to yield the desire to be liked for the honor of being divinely empowered. Whoever would hold you back does not understand the significance of your destiny, so as painful as it is, shake the dust off your feet and move forward in the Kingdom work to which you are uniquely assigned and perfectly equipped to carry out!