"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Why a Prophet Is Not Welcome in His Home Town

A prophet is a person who "speaks on behalf of the LORD." 

The LORD's message throughout time has been simple and clear. He will exalt the humble who depend on Him and strike down the proud who trust in themselves (Proverbs 16:18). 

God sends prophets to a nation, a civilization, a city, and a family where there are people refusing to depend on Him. However, people resist the prophets, and by their resistance, they exhibit their rebellion toward God (Jeremiah 25:4). 

The Bible tells us the prophets were rejected and ridiculed because the people determined the prophets unremarkable and deemed their proclamations uncomfortable. 

If someone is from your hometown, you're familiar with them. That familiarity often brings contempt. When a prophet sent from God is from your hometown, it is difficult to listen to the prophet because you're thinking, "Wait a minute! Isn't this Joseph the carpenter's boy?"

God uses the prophets to jolt His people awake.
I will again jolt this people awake...
And the wisdom of their wise ones will fail,
and the intelligent know-it-alls will have no explanations.

                    Isaiah 29:14 - The Passion Translation

God throws a monkey wrench into the plans of men that have no blueprint for trusting in God. But rather than hear the message and repent, people turn on the prophets and persecute them. 

How were the prophets in the Bible persecuted by the people? They were persecuted through ridicule (2 Kings 2:23, Luke 22:64, Jer 20:7); by being told to be quiet (Amos 2:12, 7:13); by unpleasant looks (Jer 1:8,17, 5:3); through accusations and having their message reported back to the authorities (Jer 18:19, 37:13, Amos 7:10, Jer 20:10); by being debarred from attending God's house (Jer 36:5); and by having their prophetic words, both spoken and written, rejected (Isa 30:10, Micah 2:6, Amos 7:12,16, Jer 36:23).

Physical violence to their persons took various forms: they were placed in the stocks (Jer 20:2); they were kept in chains (Jer 40:1); they were slapped in the face (1 Kings 22:24); they were imprisoned in cells, dungeons, and cisterns (Jer 37:15-16 & 38:6) in some cases just on bread and water (1 Kings 22:27); they were threatened with death (1 Kings 19:1) while others were actually put to death (2 Chron 24:21, Jer 26:20-23).

Others were killed whose names are not recorded. Jesus gives us reason to believe there were many who made the ultimate sacrifice (Luke 11:50-51).

The modern equivalent of prophets is those Christians who speak up and speak out on behalf of God's Word and the veracity of its claims. 

People may disrespect you, call you names, assign conspiracy theories to you, and do a host of other things that are unhealthy and unprofitable for the Kingdom. 

Take heart. If the prophets of old were deemed worthy of persecution for their belief in the Word of God, you should deem it no strange thing to be persecuted for believing God's Word in 2021.

The crowds greeted Jesus by saying, "A great prophet has appeared among us" (Luke 7:16). The two disciples walking to Emmaus with Jesus would later say of Him, "He was a prophet powerful in word and deed before God and all the people" (Luke 24:19). 

Like all the prophets, Jesus was persecuted. He was ridiculed, opposed in his teaching, had his miracles attributed to the devil, was handed over to the authorities, and suffered at the hands of violent men. Finally, he was crucified and demonstrated (as men thought) to be a false messiah.

In our day of easy-believism, comfortable Christianity, and theology that turns God into a Divine Santa Clause instead of King of kings, our Boss, and the LORD of our common salvation,  we often fall into the temptation of fashioning God into an image of our own making. 

It's time for prophets to stand and proclaim the truth. The Kingdom of God is upon us, and today is "the acceptable day of deliverance." 

For those of you with  Divine convictions and the boldness necessary to convey those convictions to the world, get busy! You may not be welcome in your hometown, but you'll have hundreds if not thousands that you will welcome into your eternal home. 

25 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Aren’t you a preacher in that small town of Enid, Oklahoma? Why should we listen to you? :)

Rex Ray said...

OPPS,

Enid population is over 50 thousand, while our nearest town of Ector’s population is 695.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

:) - Touche!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Touché back at you.

A bad guy never gives up on last comment of Post 9-22-21.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Wade,

Don't use the Passion Translation.

“Brian Simmons has made a new translation of the Psalms (and now the whole New Testament) which aims to ‘re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader.’ He achieves this by abandoning all interest in textual accuracy, playing fast and loose with the original languages, and inserting so much new material into the text that it is at least 50% longer than the original. The result is a strongly sectarian translation that no longer counts as Scripture; by masquerading as a Bible it threatens to bind entire churches in thrall to a false god.”

http://readingthepassionbible.com/andrew-shead-reviews-psalms/

Christiane said...

"In our day of easy-believism, comfortable Christianity, and theology that turns God into a Divine Santa Clause . . . "

Hello WADE, is this a reference to a specific group or denomination?

RB Kuter said...

An amazing post that needs to be read and applied, but..

Who is a "prophet"?
Where do they come from?
Who is ordained by God to be a prophet?
We know it's not simply one who gives their opinion thinking that it is consistent with what God thinks, right?

To what issues does a prophet speak?

There are issues of the proud and wicked that are very popular today that would be much more volatile for a prophet to speak to than others. For instance;

-It would be easier for a prophet to speak to "political" issues of today, like government intervention/corruption/domination and support of pagan trends than to speak out against

homosexuality
gender distortion (i.e., men homecoming queens)
obesity
divorce
casual sex
living together in a sexual relationship without being married
homosexuals adapting children
participation in state-sanctioned gambling
ABORTION
cults and influence of world religions as result of surge in diverse culture
adapting anti-Christ like teaching agenda in our education systems
supporting politicians who support all of the above

For a prophet to become identified as openly and boldly speaking out against these issues will surely bring a lot of resistance and persecution because it hits to the heart of the demonic lifestyles prevalent in today's society.

Final question, "Is the amount of persecution a prophet receives from society an accurate measure of their proclaiming a message from God?"

Wade Burleson said...

RB,

I define a prophet as a person who uncompromisingly tells the world what God's Word declares. For example, the book of JUDE is so strong, it would be considered "hate speech" in our day. But a prophet would unapologetically declare JUDE'S principles as truth.

The prophets of God are called by God IN THE CHURCH and are anointed to speak the truth in the public square. Prayers are to be short in the church "lest you pray to get men's praise" and open, bold, and long in the public square because you will be persecuted for them.

In terms of "opinion," the answer seems clear. The Word of God abides; the opinions of men subside. If the Word of God declares it, whether men and women believe the Word or not, the Word is prophetic and the speaker is a prophet.

Thanks for your comments!



I do not believe church "ordination" is a biblical principle. "Set apart" by the Spirit of God is biblical. Who is "set apart" to be a prophet? The person with the courage to speak God's truth no matter the personal consequences.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

“Prayers are to be short in the church lest you pray to get men's praise.”

Reminds me of an elderly lady always prayed the same long prayer and ended: “Lord, brush the cobwebs from my mind.”

She made her prayers shorter and never ended her prayer that way again after a man yelled, “Lord, kill that spider.”

RB Kuter said...

Wade, thanks for giving your perspective on "prophets".

You mentioned not believing in "ordination" as being a biblical principle. Would you say you believe that those called to serve in the church as pastor or deacon should be examined by the church and affirmed as meeting those qualifications given in the Bible for those positions?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Today’s newspaper had almost half a page with a large headline saying: “RFK murder devastated nation; Deny parole for Kennedy killer.”

I believe two brothers would not have been murdered, if they had released the proof, they had on LBJ that would have put him in jail.

But JFK and Attorney General, Robert, decided to wait until LBJ was no longer Vice-President.

Rex Ray said...

P.S.

Malcolm E. Wallace’s bragging he’d killed 17 people for LBJ and wanting more money got him killed. His fingerprints were found in the ‘Sniper’s Window’ as written in the book: LBJ and the Kennedy Killing by James T. Tague. Copyright 2013. (We were friends. I went to his funeral near Bonham, Texas.)

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."

a 'guide' to recognizing the authentic followers of Christ's teachings, whether or not they know His Name

beware those who shout 'Lord, Lord' and have no compassion in themselves for those people for whom they hold only contempt - I think this is something important to remember, especially in these strange days when 'preaching God's truth' so often is called 'hate speech',
sometimes, sadly, because it is

DEEPAK SARDAR said...

This is what I was searching from last 3 days, finally got it. Really very informative,meaningful and useful article will try to implement the same.
Good for all age groups now a days to learn such innovative and motivational.
https://sdahymnalsongs.com/Hymnal/695-praise-god-from-whom-all-blessings/

Rex Ray said...

DEEPAK SARDAR,

“Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow” is a great song, but I’m sorry you mentioned it because it’s upsetting since our church hasn’t sung it in 10 years. We only have seven-eleven songs. (That’s seven words repeated eleven times.)

Our song leader has been given ‘free reign’. He’s from Romania and writes a lot of the songs. The ‘sound system’ so loud, all you can hear is the choir.

Another reason you can hear only the choir is the congregation’s not singing even though they’re asked to stand. The leader doesn’t know they’re not singing because he sings with his eyes shut.

BTW, our song leader is a very nice guy.

Christiane said...

“A prophet’s task is to reveal the fault lines hidden beneath the comfortable surface of the worlds we invent for ourselves, the national myths as well as the little lies and delusions of control and security that get us through the day. And Jeremiah does this better than anyone.”

(Kathleen Norris, 'The Cloister Walk')


On Norris' celebration of the prophet Jeremiah, this:
https://www.firstthings.com/article/1996/12/jeremiah-in-south-dakota

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You mentioned, ‘The Cloister Walk’. I thought you’d misspelled a great song: Just a closer walk with you.

I am weak but Thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I'll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

When my feeble life is o'er
Time for me will be no more
Guide me gently, safely o'er
To Thy kingdom's shore, to Thy shore

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,
you are up late with that ankle, I bet

Actually, 'The Cloister Walk' was a book written by Kathleen Norris some years ago and she had a way with words, especially concerning things of nature and of the ways of praying in a 'cloister' setting

I do know that hymn 'Just a Closer Walk With Thee', yes, and it is beautiful indeed.

Christiane said...

Sharing something I wrote about another perspective of a prophet in his own time who was dying in Iceland in the year 1208 and who called out to his Lord for mercy, this:


I love the image of the creative power of the love that binds together the Persons of the Holy Trinity into One God, that love that is radiating outward from the Holy Trinity that 'opens its Hand' in Creation and also maintains Creation in existence from moment to moment, which in a sense is similar to the idea of Christianity's 'center' is Jesus Christ.
So I find meaning in the power of this 'love' that is 'giving' and 'sustaining' and also now we know to be 'salvific' in its care for the wounded who are still beloved of their Creator. Is a poem, now a national hymn, written by a Christian viking in Iceland in 1208 A.D. named Kolbeinn Tumason, a man who was ill and dying and who called upon God for help BECAUSE God had created him, this:

"Listen, smith of the heavens, what the poet asks.
May softly come unto me your mercy.
So I call on thee, for you have created me. "

Perhaps the 'essence' of Christianity has something to do with the compassionate 'love' that the Creator God feels for His creatures, even or maybe especially, in their wounded state of suffering? That they acknowledge their Creator and Maker as the Source of their being? That they ask Him for help, in their humility?
That, in responding to the inner voice of their moral consciences, they choose to 'obey' the call towards goodness and away from evil as a 'guide', maybe the only connection they have to the vast salvific power of the Paschal Mysteries of Our Lord?

It seems to me that whatever IS 'the essence' of the faith of Christ must extend out to reach the whole of Creation in a way that men cannot on their own erect 'boundaries' or 'fences' or 'boxes' that men can 'control' and 'manipulate', hence the promise that 'the Holy Spirit goes where He wills to go'. So a man of moral conscience who obeys the 'good' voice of the better angels of his nature IS responding to the Word Incarnate in 'spirit' - the 'patheos', if you will. Maybe not knowing the Holy Name, or hearing the written Word, or having any connections with 'the Creator' other than what the Earth and its creatures have revealed to him of 'the Source of all being' ???

IF there is such an essence,
THEN it must reach outward towards all that 'love' has created and kept in existence from the ages to the ages.

Kolbeinn Tumason KNEW that God had made him and on this knowledge, the old Christian viking called to his Creator for mercy, asking Him in these words: '
"May softly come unto me Your mercy. So I call on Thee, for You have created me"

And I see in those words a deeply human longing towards God as the generative 'Father', one of the teachings of Christ Himself'. Humility. Asking for the grace of 'mercy'. Is that not what so many of our humankind speak in their own last dying moments? I think it must be close to that in 'essence', yes.


The Icelandic people made Tumason's prayer into their national hymn, this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob-70Hh4VVQ&list=RDob-70Hh4VVQ&start_radio=1&rv=ob-70Hh4VVQ&t=0

People respond to the prophets who call them to humility before the Lord as a source of God's grace in moments of crisis, yes. The Peace of Christ sustains us in all times and in all ways, even at the time of our mortal dying.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You mentioned a prophet who was dying called the Lord for mercy…
It reminded me of:

“King Hezekiah became deathly sick…Isaiah the prophet...you are going to die…Hezekiah prayed: O Lord, don’t you remember how true I’ve been to you…he broke down with great sobs…So the Lord sent another message…tell Hezekiah…your forefather David hears you praying…and will let your live fifteen more years.” (Isaiah 38:1-5 The Living Bible)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

It’s amazing how the Lord gave Hezekiah assurance he would live 15 more years by the sun moving backwards:

“…here is my guarantee: I will send the sun backwards ten degrees…” (Isaiah 38:8 Living Bible)

Rex Ray said...

This guy never gives up on playing games. (Last comment on Post 9-16-21)

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Rex Ray said...

On the topic of why a Prophet is not welcome in his home town should be these Scriptures. (Better late than never.)

“Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us. They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown, and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:3-4 NLT)

“and Jesus brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world! For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.” (John 7:3-5 NLT)