Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 10
October 1, 2006
23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
1901 ASV Translation:
23 And he said unto them, Doubtless ye will say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in thine own country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country.
- I. Surely/Doubtless: this term is an adverb used whenever one wants to be all inclusive, or emphatic.
- II. The "Proverb/Parable": Physician, Heal Thyself.
- A. The issue of the "proverb" is the challenge, by those being subjected to a claim to the one attempting to subject them, to validate the legitimacy of his attempt to subject them.
- 1. It is typically used when there is resistence to the "subjection".
- 2. It is typically a manifestation of "doubt" that the person attempting the subjection has any right to do so or, more accurately perhaps, a manifestation of "resistance" to the subjection regardless of the origins of that resistance.
- B. In Nazareth, Jesus had announced His calling to summon the "blind" to "sight". This was, apparently, understood by His hearers as a "slam" -- i.e., they understood that He was claiming that they were blind.
- 1. This claim was being made in the heart of their "religious" setting where they "believed" they could "see" very clearly.
- 2. The claim set their teeth on edge because they were already "sensitized" by the fact that Nazareth and its inhabitants were already held in low esteem by most everyone.
- III. The Demand: Do Here What We Have Heard You Have Done in Capernaum.
- A. Did they really want Him to do what He had done elsewhere?
- 1. What would have been the result if He had?
- a. The "insufferable" accusations would have simply been made more "insufferable".
- b. There was an underlying reason for their antagonism that was not going to be changed by His "proof" that it was illegitimate.
- 2. Why did He refrain?
- a. It was a mercy in that illegitimate hatefulness will show up in judgment and it is better in that day if those engaged in hatefulness do not have too much against them.
- b. The mercy of God seeks to "trump" judgment (James 2:13) even in the glory of God so that He, Himself, does not stack up wrath in the day of wrath unnecessarily.
- B. There is a hint of scepticism in their "Is not this the son of Joseph?" so that it may well have been the case that they simply did not believe the reports were legitimate (as in John 9:18), nor would they have been won over even if the reports were proven to be true (as in John 9:34).
- IV. Why Is No Prophet Accepted in His Own Country?
- A. Given that the "Nazarene syndrome" is predominant in the hearts of all men everywhere until regeneration, it is unlikely that any person will willingly accept the notion that someone he knows very well is "superior" to him. [Illustration: There is a huge difference in "attitudes" among "preachers" at conferences between the "guest speaker" and the "guests" who are simply "preachers".]
- B. Given that all men everywhere assume that being "favored" by God means being elevated to superiority, none are easily willing to acknowledge the favored status of another.
- 1. It is far easier to "give glory" to someone unknown and far away -- because those who are far away are not "present competitors".
- 2. Besides, it is altogether foreign to God and His program to "elevate" persons so that they can "lord it over" others. [Note 1 Peter 5:3 as a "standard" kingdom-reality principle.] Exaltation in the mind of God is extending the privilege of greater servanthood.