“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. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” (Luke 4:23-27)
The Jewish leaders in Nazareth were not looking for the “right kind” of Messiah. They wanted someone that fit their mold and would make them rulers over the people and the Romans. They didn’t really want to see Jesus perform miracles as the Messiah. They just wanted to see the show for themselves.
Jesus knew their hearts. Therefore, He did not show them Who He was with miraculous powers. Instead, He declares that they are rejecting Him as being sent by God just like they did Elijah and Elisha!
The people feared Ahab and Jezebel more than God, so they rejected Elijah and his ministry. They treated Elisha in much the same way.
Both of these examples point out the arrogance of the Jews in rejecting the prophets of God. They show that God is sovereign in His choice of objects of mercy and of wrath.
In the case of Elijah, God took care of His prophet with a widow woman. But not an Israelite widow! He spared a woman from the home country of Jezebel herself!
In the time of Elisha, the Jews hated Gentiles so much that the king of Israel mocked at a request of the Syrian General when he wanted to be cured of leprosy. After some convincing, Naaman listens to Elisha and is healed. But the story does not end there. Elisha’s servant thinks they should receive payment for the healing. Well, he gets it – He ends up with the leprosy of Naaman for the rest of his life!
Jesus gives these two examples to show that they reject Him as the Messiah because they are acting just like their fathers who rejected the true prophets of God in the past. Moreover, these examples show that Jesus shows cursing and blessing to the most unlikely of people!
My Father’s dear little children, if you have tasted of the sweet mercy of God in your life, why would you ever desire to be away from Jesus for any length of time? We may not wholly reject Jesus as our Savior, but we should honor Him with our life every day to show that we believe Him right now!