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Humble Hero

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    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 had come from poverty and lowliness was anything other than a common man. Their unbelief bred hatred. In anger, they shouted out against the Savior. Fierce national pride stirred within them, and a tumult of voices drowned out His words. He had offended their prejudices, and they were ready to commit murder.HH 103.6

    The assembly broke up. Laying hands on Jesus, they rushed Him from the synagogue and out of the city. Eager for His destruction, they hurried Him to the top of a cliff, intending to throw Him down headfirst. Shouts filled the air. Some were throwing stones at Him, when suddenly He disappeared. Heavenly messengers were with Him in the midst of that maddened crowd, and they conducted Him to safety.HH 104.1

    So, in all ages, the forces of evil array themselves against Christ’s faithful followers. But armies of heaven surround all who love God, to deliver them. In eternity, we will know that messengers from God were with our every step from day to day.HH 104.2

    Jesus could not give up on His hearers in the synagogue without one more call to repentance. Toward the close of His ministry in Galilee, He again visited the home of His childhood. The fame of His preaching and miracles had filled the land. None in Nazareth could now deny that He possessed more than human power. There were whole villages around them in which He had healed all the sick.HH 104.3

    Again as they listened to His words, the Divine Spirit moved on the Nazarenes. But even now they would not admit that this Man, brought up among them, was greater than themselves. They still resented the fact that while He had claimed to be the Promised One, He had really denied them a place with Israel, for He had shown them to be less worthy of God’s favor than a heathen man and woman. Though they questioned, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matthew 13:54), they would not receive Him as the Christ of God. Because of their unbelief, the Savior could not work many miracles among them, and reluctantly He left, never to return.HH 104.4

    Unbelief, having once been cherished, continued to control the people of Nazareth, the Sanhedrin, and the nation. They rejected the Holy Spirit, and this resulted in the cross of Calvary, the destruction of their city, and the scattering of the nation.HH 104.5

    Christ longed to open the precious treasures of truth to Israel! But they clung to their creed and useless ceremonies. They spent their money for chaff and husks when the bread of life was within their reach. Again and again, Christ quoted from the prophets and declared, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” If they had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God’s Word, Jesus would not have needed to declare, “See! Your house is left to you desolate.” Luke 13:35. They might have avoided the disaster that laid their proud city in ruins.HH 104.6

    But the lessons of Christ demanded repentance. If they accepted His teachings, they must change their practices and surrender their cherished hopes. They must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time.HH 104.7

    Spiritual pride filled the Jewish leaders. They loved the highest seats in the synagogue. The sound of their titles on the lips of others gratified them. As real devotion declined, they became more jealous for their traditions and ceremonies. Selfish prejudice darkened their minds, and they could not harmonize the power of Christ’s convicting words with the humility of His life. His poverty seemed completely inconsistent with His claim to be the Messiah. Why was He so unassuming? If He was what He claimed to be, why was He satisfied to be without the force of arms? Without such force, how could the power and glory they had waited for so long bring the nations under the authority of the city of the Jews?HH 105.1

    But it was not simply the absence of outward glory in His life that led the Jews to reject Jesus. He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. His sincerity revealed their insincerity and made them see iniquity in its hateful character. Such a light was unwelcome. They could have accepted the disappointment of their ambitious hopes better than Christ’s reproof of their sins and the condemnation they felt even from the presence of His purity.HH 105.2

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