Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 103

the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down. As the Holy Spirit moved their hearts, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord.

But when Jesus announced, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” they suddenly were called upon to think of the claims of Him who had been addressing them. He had represented them, children of Abraham, as being in bondage, prisoners to be delivered from the power of evil, in darkness, and needing the light of truth. This offended their pride. Jesus’ work for them was to be entirely different from what they wanted. He might investigate their deeds too closely. They shrank from inspection by those clear, searching eyes.

“Who is this Jesus?” they questioned. He who had claimed the glory of the Messiah was the Son of a carpenter. They had seen Him toiling up and down the hills. They were acquainted with His brothers and sisters, and they knew His life and labors. They had seen Him develop from childhood to manhood. Although His life had been spotless, they would not believe that He was the Promised One. They opened the door to doubt, and their hearts became harder for having been briefly softened. With intense energy, Satan worked to fasten them in unbelief.

They had been stirred by the conviction that it was their Redeemer who addressed them. But Jesus now gave them evidence of His divinity by revealing their secret thoughts. “No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian.”

The prophets whom God had chosen were not allowed to labor for a hardhearted, unbelieving people. In the days of Elijah, Israel had rejected the Lord’s messengers, so God found a refuge for His servant in a heathen land, with a woman who did not belong to the chosen people. But this woman’s heart was open to the greater light that God sent through His prophet.

In Elisha’s time, the lepers of Israel were passed by for the same reason. But Naaman, a heathen nobleman, was ready to receive the gifts of God’s grace. He was not only cleansed from leprosy but blessed with a knowledge of the true God. The heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a better condition than those who profess to serve God but disregard light and whose daily lives contradict their profession.

Jesus Set Their Real Condition Before Them

The words of Jesus to His hearers struck at the root of their self-righteousness. Every word cut like a knife as He set their real condition before them. They now scorned the faith that Jesus had inspired in them at first. They would not admit that He who

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