Have you ever been challenged by a godly speaker only to find yourself quibbling over their credentials and missing your opportunity to grow?

Jesus experienced this when he preached in his hometown of Nazareth soon after spending 40 days in the desert resisting the devil’s temptations in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:1-14). He claimed that the text read that day in Isaiah 61 referred to himself — that he was full of God’s Spirit to proclaim good news to the poor, the imprisoned, and the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to declare the year of God’s favor.

Immediately the quibblers shot back. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked (Luke 4:22). They questioned how a son of a local carpenter could be the fulfilment of prophecy. When Jesus heard them grumbling, he said, “Truly I tell you … no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”

Jesus was so right.

Like those townspeople, when I am challenged spiritually by people, I am prone to respond pettily. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” “You didn’t do enough research.” "You’re too young to tell me what to do!” If I do, I may miss an opportunity to grow from someone who has most likely spoken in the power of the Spirit.

Maybe we should all learn a lesson from those closed-minded quibblers and open our ears instead of our mouths.

Dear God, help me to humble myself and be more open to people around me whom you have called to shape me into your likeness. Guard my heart from quibbling over their mere humanness just because I want to ignore the spiritual truths they offer. May I welcome their good news as coming from you. Amen.

Go Deeper — How do you react to others’ challenges? Ask God to open your heart and mind when there is a lesson to be learned.

Tags: The Gospel of Luke Luke 4