No prophet is accepted in his own hometown (Luke 4:24).
A 2013 article in Unfinished magazine details the exciting growth of Christianity in the “new India.” With more than 71 million believers in Jesus, the country is now the 8th largest Christian nation in the world. But even though faith in Christ is spreading “at a rapid rate among middle and high caste Indians and young people,” there are challenges for the new believers. “With great receptivity to Christianity also comes alarming religious animosity, resulting in persecution and violent resistance.”
Jesus knew the bitter effects of persecution and resistance. As He returned to “his boyhood home” of Nazareth, He went to the local synagogue and selected a prophetic passage from Isaiah (Luke 4:16). His purpose was to announce that salvation had come through Him—not just for the Jews but also for Gentiles. By referencing Elijah and Elisha and their individual ministries to “foreigners” (non-Jews) as He described His mission, the locals got the message. And they didn’t like it.
“No prophet is accepted in his own hometown,” Jesus said (Luke 4:24). Unable to accept the fact that they weren’t the only ones to receive God’s grace and moved by a festering anger against Gentile overlords, the people turned against Jesus. In fact, they tried to push Him off a cliff on the hill where the town was built. But in a display of divine power, Christ simply “passed right through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).
Opposition and persecution are challenges for many believers in Jesus today. Yet God’s kingdom continues to grow. Those who suffer for Him, He says, will be blessed (Matthew 5:11). And His presence and power are with us, even when we face trouble for believing in Him.
Raising Awareness For The Religious Freedom Of Christians
According to the 2020 World Watch Report published by Open Doors USA, 260 million Christians worldwide are experiencing religious persecution. One America’s Jenn Pellegrino was at the Museum of the Bible in Washington this week, where she spoke with some officials who are fighting on their behalf.