Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your home town what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”… All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.
The Truth Hurts
“You need to hear this.” When Phil heard these words, he didn’t know what to think. He could sense it wasn’t going to be pleasant. Still, he figured he needed to hear what his friend had to say. But was it going to be a gentle correction, a needed criticism, or a stern rebuke? In any event, he prepared himself because he knew the truth would hurt.
The truth was what Jesus shared with the people in Nazareth, and there was an honesty which was hard to accept. The truth hurt. Because of the painful truth Jesus revealed, many rejected him. They were also ready to silence him. The account provides a much-needed caution for me.
While I prefer to hear about God’s goodness and love, I desperately need to hear when he speaks honestly with me. I have to hear the whole truth, and, the truth hurts. I am a sinner. I am rebellious and hostile to God. By nature I don’t want to do what God desires, nor am I inclined to even think about obeying him.
As Jesus opened the eyes of the crowd, so he opens mine. He confronts me with the truth of my rebellion. He also confronts me with the truth of my condemnation. The truth hurts. It is when I feel the sting of this harsh reality and am broken under its pressing burden, that I long to hear what Jesus has done for me.
He accepted the punishment I should have endured. He experienced the condemnation I should have received. He rescued me from the painful sentence I should have borne. This precious truth brings relief. It also renews me through faith, so I can delight in doing what he desires.
By faith, Jesus has set me free from the painful reality which confronted me and replaced it with the peace only the whole truth can provide. In this truth I now live and rejoice.
O blessed Savior, my Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you for the precious truth you provide. This alone reveals the burden of my sin, and leads me to you, the one who has released me from that burden. Amen
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