February 17, 2021•324 words
J.C. Ryle, 'Expository Thoughts on Luke'—Luke 4:23-32
We learn, for one thing, how apt men are to despise the highest privileges when they are familiar with them. We see it in the conduct of the men of Nazareth when they had heard the Lord Jesus preach. They could find no fault in His sermon. They could point to no inconsistency in His past life. But because the preacher had dwelt among them thirty years, and His face, and voice, and appearance were familiar to them, they would not receive His doctrine. They said to one another, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Is it possible that one so well known as this man can be the Christ? And they drew from our Lord’s lips the solemn saying, “No prophet is welcome in his hometown.”
We shall do well to remember this lesson in the matter of ordinances and means of grace. We are always in danger of undervaluing them when we have them in abundance. We are apt to think lightly of the privilege of an open Bible, a preached gospel, and the liberty of meeting together for public worship. We grow up in the midst of these things and are accustomed to having them without trouble. And the consequence is that we often hold them very cheaply and underrate the extent of our mercies.
Let us take heed to our own heart in the use of sacred things. As often as we may read the Bible, let us never read it without deep reverence. As often as we hear the name of Christ, let us never forget that He is the one Mediator in whom is life.
Even the manna that came down from heaven was at length scorned by Israel as miserable food (Numbers 21:5). It is an evil day with our souls when Christ is in the midst of us and yet, because of our familiarity with His name, is lightly esteemed.