Time to Go
January 10, 2021
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there (Matthew 13:53).
Jesus was most likely in Peter’s home in Capernaum when He spoke these parables to the crowd. It was an emotional, physical, and spiritually draining period of time in Jesus’ life. A lot was accomplished in His training of the disciples, in His ministry to the crowds, and in His rebuking and correcting the Pharisees. Now it was time to move on. Verse 54 tells us Jesus returned to His own country, meaning Nazareth.
From time to time we need to back away from the immediate text to refocus our attention on the context. Early on in His ministry Jesus was already being rejected by a spiritually blinded people despite the divine power which He had demonstrated, the spiritual truth He had taught, and the way in which He bore testimony to the glory of God in His life. Most ministers would have given up and quit by that time.
But this is Jesus we are considering here. He was under divine mandate to fulfill God’s plan of salvation to a lost and dying world. He understood the darkness of the human soul. He knew before His incarnation this would be the road He would have to walk and this would be the response of those He came to save. This is not to say Jesus wasn’t affected by all of this - He was affected physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Jesus was always, first and foremost, concerned for the judgment that awaited those who would be guilty of rejecting Him and His mission - a rejection that was already taking place. Nevertheless He pursued His service and sent His disciples ahead to Nazareth in order that no effort to minister the Gospel would be lacking. Why? Because the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The Lord Jesus continued to give proof of God’s love, grace, and mercy in the face of an increasing opposition that would ultimately take Him to the cross. That is the reason Jesus left Capernaum and traveled to His hometown of Nazareth where He would once again be rejected by those who knew Him, but didn’t really know Him.
“Father, my heart grieves for Jesus and the way He was received by those who should have known who He really was. It cuts me to the depths of my being that He was treated with such contempt, hatred, ridicule, and scorn. Knowing that the Jews were spiritually blind to the reality of Jesus doesn’t lessen my sorrow over the way He was treated. His was truly a lonely road to walk, but He walked it with confident obedience knowing that was Your plan and purpose and that He would be rewarded for His complete faithfulness to You. May my life reflect such a faith and confidence as that. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”