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Recognition, repentance, salvation

Today’s reading: Genesis 42-43; Matthew 13:33-58

57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:57-58

Again it is possible to see clear parallels between Jesus and Joseph. In God’s plan before there can be forgiveness, salvation, deliverance, and reconciliation, there must be recognition of sin and of personal responsibility leading to repentance. The ten brothers had long suffered with guilt over their mistreatment of Joseph. Joseph pushed them toward openly confessing their guilt, showing true repentance before he revealed his identity and received them with love and affection and reassurance.

Jesus taught the reality of coming judgment in His parables. He warned His hearers of the danger to come. Yet it was in His hometown where He had the most resistance. Those who had seen Him grow up there were perplexed by the authority and wisdom of His teaching, but, instead of submitting to Him, they took Him to be some kind of upstart. They took offense at Him. The consequence of this was He did not do many mighty works there.

Familiarity breeds contempt goes the popular proverb. It was easy for Joseph’s brothers to reject him. It was easy for Jesus’ hometown neighbors to hold Him in contempt. God in His mercy and grace through regeneration, or the new birth, changes the hearts of those He calls to Himself so that their natural resistance to Him is transformed into recognition of guilt and impending judgment leading to repentance and faith that saves.

Has your heart been changed by Jesus Christ, so that you do not take offense at Him but rather bow before Him in contrite faith?  If not, pray that He may show you mercy and make your heart new.

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Portrait Photography by Tess Dryzmala