Sometimes you just have to leave

Jesus arrives in Galilee and Luke tells us he returned, “ … in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.” (Luke 4:14-15)

Then (Luke 4:16) “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up …”

He decides to go back home. His mother and brothers are there. Everyone likes to go back to where they were brought up. Everything seems smaller when you go back home. The streets and the buildings are not as huge as in your memory. He certainly found Nazareth to be small-minded.

Matthew writes, “Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali” (Matthew 4:13)

He left Nazareth because in his words ‘no prophet is welcome in their hometown’ (Luke 4:24).

What happened? Why did he leave?

Sometimes you have had to move on. You couldn’t stay. Maybe you wanted to. It could have been all so different. Not everyone understood the reason because they were not there when you made that decision. There have been times when you simply had to leave people behind. The place of that decision may have been the one place you least expected it. For Jesus, his hometown, the place of familiarity became the place of rejection.

In the synagogue on a Sabbath day, Jesus caused offence. He announced the love of God and that his focus of ministry would be to reach the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

The people of the synagogue were furious and they dragged Jesus to the cliff of Nazareth to throw him off. Luke writes how Jesus walked right through them (4:30).

Authority is being able to be taken to a cliff edge but not be thrown off it. You may think you are on the edge today and that actually you are really close to giving up. But within you is the presence of Christ and you have the authority to resist.

Authority is being able to walk through a condemning crowd. The fear of man is a snare. Ignore the threats and what people have said they will do or won’t do. Ignore and walk on. Walking away from conflict is at times stronger than staying for it.

Authority is saying I choose where I surrender and who I surrender to. Jesus knew this was not the place for his death. They would not take his life from him. He came to lay his life down.

Nazareth’s loss became Capernaum’s gain!

Jesus set up ministry base-camp in Capernaum and the towns close by of Korazin and Bethsaida. We will read later how Jesus did more miracles in these 3 towns than anywhere else (Matthew 11:20).

When you look at the story of your life you will see how with your God-given authority you have had to leave those who rejected you. It was painful but you began new chapters because you came to realise that sometimes you just have to leave.

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