Do you love your hometown? Perhaps you have lived in your community for many years. There is a nostalgic feeling in those familiar shops, parks, and yearly festivities. There is a sense of comfort being surrounded by the people you know. I still remember with fondness my hometown’s 4th of July fireworks and free bean dinner at the park. However, we can get locked into an “our-town-and no-more” state of mind.
When Jesus began His ministry, He went back to His hometown of Nazareth. He arrived at the synagogue and stood up in that familiar place and read the scriptures. As He began to teach, those who knew Him were enraged and drove Him out of town. They had no tolerance for this hometown boy teaching them. Jesus had a calling from His Father to proclaim the good news. He also had a compassion for people. He cast out demons, healed diseases, and ministered to hurting people. He showed them the way to God. His compassion led Him to exclaim: “I must proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee” (Luke 4:43-44). His hometown may have kicked Him out, but His vision for people led Him to other towns.
We should allow the compassion and vision of Jesus to move us to look beyond our hometowns as well. People everywhere need the Lord. Jesus said in Luke 10:2: “Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”. Jesus urges us to have a compassion for the next towns and a heart for the harvest.
Our compassion for lost people should lead to a conversation. The good news of Jesus dying on the cross to take away our sins is a universal message. We must proclaim it. Perhaps God may be calling you to get involved in the harvest business. Let’s open our eyes to other towns.