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Home, Cynical Home, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 28, 2021 7:05 am

Home, Cynical Home, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 28, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

The Truth Pulpit
Don Green
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Hi, this is Dave Spiker, reminding you that June 30th, that's this Wednesday, marks the end of the financial year for Insight for Living. To give a much needed donation, go to

Today on Insight for Living, from Chuck Swindoll. We should never overestimate the importance of family and friends, but I've learned that family members are not always right. And I've learned that family responses are not always the ones I need to rely on.

If I am committed to following the Lord Jesus, then the advice of others, including even family members, means less than the direction Jesus is leading. When the decades pass by and we're distanced from our childhood roots, it's natural that we embellish the memories of yesteryear. Nostalgia morphs into selective memory, and we tend to romanticize what growing up in the neighborhood was really like. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll recreates the moment when Jesus returned home to Nazareth, only to receive a cynical review from his own people. Jesus said this about his cool reception, a prophet is honored everywhere except his own hometown and among his own family. Chuck titled today's study in Matthew 13, Home, Cynical Home. When Jesus had finished telling the stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country and he returned to Nazareth, hometown. So he took the journey. They walked, of course, about a two-day walk until they finally came to that little sign that says Nazareth. It's there that Jesus formed his earliest impressions about life. It was there life made up its mind for him. But his name was known all over Israel, and of all things, this man comes back.

But remember, their memory is not of the great crowds and all the significant words that he had spoken, that their memory is 30 years of growing up. So word traveled among the community, and did you hear that Mary's son is going to preach? No doubt Joseph is dead, never mentioned in his adult life. So Mary gathers the family, and no doubt many of them were married by now. And having grown up with Jesus, they had the standard brother opinion and sister opinion. And there he stood. They had had their meals with him for almost 30 years. They had seen his work, conversed, argued, had the standard relationship you have. But now he's standing in the synagogue, and he speaks with such wisdom and authority. It says, look at it, they were amazed.

They were blown away. He never talked like this when he was having supper with us. We don't remember speeches that he gave or great works he did, and so they naturally ask, where does he get his wisdom?

The power to do miracles. They even scoffed and said, he's just a carpenter's son. By the way, Joseph had nothing to do with his conception. But of course, they thought Joseph was his daddy. And we know Mary, his mother, and we know all the brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas. And by the way, none of them believe in him. And we know all of his sisters.

I mean, come on. And then we read, they were deeply scandalized. A.T. Robertson in his fine work, Word Pictures in the New Testament, writes, what the people of Nazareth could not comprehend was how one with the origin and environment of Jesus here in Nazareth could possess the wisdom which he appeared to have in his teaching.

That has often puzzled people how a boy whom they knew could become the man he apparently is after leaving home. They stumbled at him. They were offended by him. And we read, they refused to believe in him.

There it is. By the way, that didn't last forever. Weren't we encouraged by that? Jude, named earlier, is the one who, Judas, who wrote the book of Jude just before the end of our Bible, just before Revelation. Not only did he believe in him, but wrote a letter. And James did as well, and he didn't believe until the resurrection.

And then when he believed, he really did, went full bore and became a leader in the early first century church. So they came around. It gives us hope, doesn't it? Doesn't it give you a little encouragement, you who have tried to reach your brothers and sisters and moms and dads and family members to no avail? Do not think that because you have spoken of Christ and it wasn't received that it will never be meaningful to them. Your words, no doubt, will never be forgotten. Our brains have a way of creasing them into the cells and sometimes at life's most difficult turning points, we remember things that we were told.

Pain will bring thoughts to us, loss, lengthy illnesses, near-death struggles. Many a person I talk to will tell me before we later bury him or her, it was not until recently I realized what my daughter had in mind or what my cousin meant when he said to me, told me of Jesus, I now see it. But for right now, nobody sees it. Who knows? Maybe some of them got up and walked out. You know why it's hard to believe? Because you would think for the privilege of being able to hear Jesus teach, I mean, how long a lie would you stand in?

But they wouldn't. In fact, we read this after they didn't believe in him, then Jesus told them, look at this, a prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family. The sentence literally reads, a prophet is not dishonored except in his native town and in his house, which probably means household, family. And with that reproof, we read something else that's eloquent, the very last sentence in the chapter. And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.

Your Bible will read a similar way. What shut it down? Well, their response. He read on their faces and maybe heard in the murmurings.

They want nothing to do with what I have to say. I'll say more about it in a moment, but I'll tell you, audience reaction means an enormous amount to someone communicating truth. And he's very sensitive. And he realizes that his home, those from his family had little interest in what he had to say.

And there's a couple of applications I want to draw from this simple vignette. You've been so patient to listen as we've worked our way through it. Here's the first thought I want to leave with you. We should never overestimate the importance of family and friends. We should never overestimate the importance of family and friends. And you won't often hear words like that from me because I'm such a family man. But I've learned that family members are not always right.

And I've learned that family responses are not always the ones I need to rely on. If I am committed to following the Lord Jesus, if we often say hook, line, and sinker, if I am fully committed to him, then the advice of others, including even family members, means less than the direction Jesus is leading. The old Aesop's fable comes to pass again, familiarity breeds contempt.

Now in this case, we have a classic illustration. He was shut down because of their unbelief. And he then reproved them, which included a reproof to his own family. Here I come for whatever reasons I had in mind, and I find the axiom, here again a prophet is without honor in his own hometown.

Here's a second. We should never underestimate the importance of others' response. Their response to Jesus hindered him from saying anything else. I think he may have entered his message before he planned to.

He certainly stopped doing great works among them. We should never underestimate the importance of others' responses. This gives me a chance to do something I rarely do, and I want to do it today. I want to talk to you about you. You know me well enough to know that I'm not going to blow smoke here, okay? But I have to tell you, you're the best when it comes to responses. I've never preached before a gathering more receptive. When it's serious, you're as silent as a tomb. That's good.

You're not fiddling around, you're not rustling around, you're riveted. That's a great response, not to me, but to the truth you're hearing. When something is funny, you laugh. I've been at churches where I've said something that was meant to be funny.

It's like, okay, I learned that. We're not going to go there. You're not like that at all.

You're very spontaneous. You've got that list of faces that you looked at earlier, those guest preachers. Every one of them loves to come back to this place to preach.

You know why? You. I've had a number of them say I've never had a congregation like that. I mean, Chuck, they bring their Bibles. What do you think they're going to bring?

Time magazine? Sure, they're going to bring their Bible. He said, you know, when I say something from the scriptures like, oh, and I say, turn here. Well, not all. Summer, you turn, I'll just listen. But most of you turn. You know why? You're responsive.

Stay that way. It is contagious. It gives energy to the one who is pouring out a soul. William Barkley addresses this in a beautiful way, and I share his words with you.

He writes, the prophet, as so often happens, had no honor in his own country, and their attitude to him raised a barrier, which made it impossible for Jesus to have any effect upon them. And he goes on. There's a great lesson here. In any church service, the congregation preaches more than half the sermon.

Do you know that? No wonder you're tired when the message is over. You preached half the sermon with me. Every congregation preaches half the sermon. The congregation brings an atmosphere with it. That atmosphere is either a barrier through which the preacher's word cannot penetrate, or else it is such an expectancy that even the poorest sermon becomes a living flame.

You're a model of that. That's cultivated over the years. We learn to listen. We learn to value prepared messages. We learn to observe insightful comments and make them on our own as we go back to the biblical text and draw from it truth for our lives. That's why when you go home, the sermon still lives, and you can return to Matthew 13, 53 to 58 and relive the scene at Nazareth, because you've gone home with him. You've walked those 40 miles. You've slept under the stars. You've stood before family that's frowning at him.

And I think some of that came from Mary as well. Who is he? I changed his diapers. I've seen him grow up. That's why I love the song Mary Did You Know, and there's that line in there, He will soon deliver you, Mary. He will soon deliver you.

One day in her life, she realized, I've given birth to my Savior, my Lord. What a response. What a humbling response, or humble response. Never lose your love for gatherings like this. It's like a magnet.

I'm serious. Though I'm away for a little while, I'll tell you, isn't a Sunday that comes that I don't think, I mean, Steve gets to preach instead of me. Well, I mean, not exactly like that, but I have thoughts like, they have the joy of standing with this congregation and delivering their souls and having that appreciated.

Appreciated. I can't tell you what that means. The late Howie Hendricks used to say to me, when we talked about various students, some of whom were losing heart for their studies, I asked Prof, why would that be?

I mean, I'm the kind of guy that's on the edge of his seat. I never wanted the Prof to go home. I wanted more. But some didn't. And he said, you know, before we're too critical, they probably don't have anybody at home encouraging them.

Very insightful. If you're going to give yourself to the truth of the Scriptures, it needs to be appreciated. And you do a marvelous job of that.

I mean that with my whole heart. Now let me say to you who still can't quite find yourself able to respond like this, maybe it's because you've never realized the power of the cross and what was accomplished there. I heard recently of a man who had heard the message of Christ. It was presented to him very carefully, very thoughtfully and appropriately. And he died without Jesus. He now knows.

But it's too late. The power of the cross. If you haven't the ability to respond in a way that's grateful and excited, it may be that you just never met the one who wrote the story or the one who went home to Nazareth. I'd love for you to meet him today. Bow with me, will you?

Just sit very quietly. One of Jesus' disciples once wrote, he came unto his own, but his own did not receive him. Interesting nuance in that statement John wrote. It could be rendered, he came to his own things, but his own ones did not receive him. That's what it means. He saw the hills and the lakes, he saw the great sea, all of which he had made on this planet and all of it received him and continued to obey him even when he said, peace be still, stop.

And the waves stopped and the storm went away. But not even his own household welcomed him. They were offended by him.

If you've never met the Lord Jesus, your offense may be brought on by a misunderstanding. He's not just another hometown boy, grown up good. He's the master. He's the savior. He who has the Son has the life, S-O-N.

He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. Trust the Son. Release your grip. Set aside your resistance and humbly take him. Do it now. You may not have tomorrow.

Do it now. Thank you, Father, for this nostalgic journey back to a place that most will never visit except in the mind. Thank you for the opportunity to relive the scene. And can it be that we should gain an interest in the savior's blood, died he for me, died he for me who knew no sin. Thank you, Father, for the savior. Thank you that he died for us. We love you, Father, and we worship your Son, Jesus. In his name, we worship you and praise you.

All his people said, amen. It's worth noting that the same Jesus who returned to his hometown 2,000 years ago is prepared to have an encounter with you today. And even at this moment, he's touching the lives of men and women like you who live far from Nazareth but are saying yes to his call. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Matthew chapter 13. He titled today's message, Home Cynical Home.

And please stay with us because Chuck is in the studio to deliver a closing comment just for our radio family. And if you'd like to learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at And then let me give a nod to those who've left comments telling us about your stirring stories of redemption. We never tire of hearing the way God has worked in your life through the Bible teaching you here on Insight for Living. Recently, I read a comment from a friend in Nigeria who said, Only eternity will reveal the influence and impact your systematic approach has made on my life.

Thank you so much for being salt and light to me and to millions of others the world over. Well, Chuck, we often remind our listeners that they're not alone when receiving these daily programs. In reality, we're joined by a multicultural audience and some who speak a different language than we do.

That's true, Dave. Many in our listening family are surprised to learn that Insight for Living can be heard in eight additional languages other than the English language. Of course, no one is more surprised than I am, believe me. When we started this media ministry back in 1979, I had no clue how God would expand our influence around this world. Gratefully, God has supplied the resources and the expertise of godly colleagues to help us translate Insight for Living into languages not only in English, but Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. Several years ago, this momentum inspired us to declare an audacious goal that only God could achieve. We called it Vision 195, and it's our dream to cultivate biblical knowledge and application to all 195 countries of our world. There hasn't been a global pandemic, an economic crisis, a national election that has deterred our determination to proceed with gusto.

In fact, I'm pleased to report that we're moving full steam ahead with the course God has set before us in Vision 195. And so today, I'm not hesitant to invite you to join me in this mission by giving generously. Before the financial deadline of June 30th, the largest portion of your financial gift will be applied to providing this daily program on your station and in this country.

A fraction of your gift is all that's needed to provide Insight for Living beyond your borders and in the heart language of those who listen. Here is our contact information, and I look forward to hearing from you very soon, like today. Let me explain how you can respond to Chuck Swindoll before midnight Wednesday, June 30th. We've made it quite simple to get in touch. The quickest and most convenient way to give is to follow the simple instructions at slash donate. Some prefer to give through our mobile app. You can also give a contribution by speaking with one of our service representatives. Just give us a call if you're listening in the U.S. Dial 1-800-772-8888. That's 1-800-772-8888. Or, once again, go online to I'm Dave Spiker. Join us again Tuesday when our study in the book of Matthew continues, right here on Insight for Living with Chuck Swindoll. The preceding message, Home, Cynical Home, was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-26 13:04:14 / 2023-09-26 13:12:34 / 8

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