“Sent To None Of Them” ( Luke 4: 25 – 27, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Jesus apparently is not sent to his hometown to perform miracles, but to tell his neighbors that He is not going to be accepted by them. He says to them, “No prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” (Luke 4:24) Then He proceeds to provide two examples of this truth. Jesus speaks of the widows in Israel that Elijah was not sent to “when the heavens were shut up for three years and six months.” (Luke 4:25) Instead Elijah was sent to Zarephath, a widow from the land of Sidon. Jesus also speaks of the many lepers in Israel that Elisha was not sent to cleanse. Instead Elisha was sent “only to Naaman the Syrian.” (Luke 4:27)

Yet, when the Canaanite woman asks Jesus to have mercy on her and drive out a demon from her daughter, Jesus ignores her completely. So, she cries out to His disciples. They beg Jesus to “send her away.” (Matthew 15:23) He says to them (and not to her), “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24) The Canaanite woman persists, saying: “Lord, help me.” (Matthew 15:25) Jesus responds, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Matthew 15:26) The woman does not appear to be insulted or even surprised by our Lord’s attitude. Instead she agrees with Him. She says, “Yes, Lord.” But then she uses a perfectly logical argument with Him. She continues, “Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:27) Jesus is impressed with the level of this Gentile’s faith, and He proclaims, “Be it done for you as you desire.” (Matthew 15:28) He gives her the desire of her heart because of her persistence and her logic.

The Canaanite woman’s persistence, her acceptance of Jesus’ rejection, and her logical argument are opposites from the reaction of the crowd in Nazareth when Jesus finishes reading from “the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.” (Luke 4:17) When Jesus tells His friends and neighbors that He fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, at first the crowd “speaks well of Him and marvels at the gracious words that are coming from His mouth.” (Luke 4:22) But when Jesus gives examples of how the prophets Elijah and Elisha were sent to persons not within the house of Israel, “all in the synagogue are filled with wrath.” (Luke 4:28)

Jesus’ neighbors “rise up and drive Him out of the town and bring Him to the brow of the hill on which their town is built, so they can throw Him down the cliff.” (Luke 4:29)

Jesus “passes through their midst” and literally leaves them behind. With the Canaanite woman, He turns the tables just as Elijah and Elisha once did; He gives her that which is meant only for Israel, only for the children of God. He gives her the desire of her heart.

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“God Is Kind” (Proverbs 21: 21, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Whoever pursues…kindness will find life…”

We speak of God being loving, but how many of us ever say, “God is kind?” The kind person is considerate first. Do you think of God as considerate? As Jesus is the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature,” we might be able to imagine God the Father as considerate. Jesus is certainly considerate of the crowd when He tells His disciples to “give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14: 16)

“And great crowds come to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He heals them, so that the crowd wonders, when they see the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. Then Jesus calls His disciples to Him and says, ‘I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’ ” (Matthew 15: 30 – 32)

Jesus, the Son of God, is kind. He feels compassion.

Jesus says, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him, and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.” (Luke 11: 5 – 8)

Jesus tells us to pursue kindness and find life.

Jesus tells of the persistent widow who keeps coming to a judge “who neither fears God nor respects man.” (Luke 18: 2) The widow is seeking justice, and comes to the judge repeatedly. Eventually, to rid himself of her, he grants her justice. “And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? I tell you, He will give justice speedily.” (Luke 18: 8)

God, the Father, is kind. He gives us righteousness and life.