Sometimes, sharing our faith in our own communities can be one of the biggest challenges we face as evangelizers – even Jesus struggled as a hometown prophet.
When Jesus returned to Nazareth in Luke 4, they questioned His authority. They knew Christ as the carpenter and the son of Joseph. They were not ready to accept Him as the Son of God. Eventually, they even chased Him out of town!
If Jesus can struggle bringing the Gospel to His own hometown, imagine the difficulties we will face.
Of course, this was not because Christ lacked anything. The people of Nazareth simply could not open their hearts to see Jesus as something more. Regardless of what He said or did, they still just saw Him as the little boy who grew up to be a carpenter.
There is a good chance that you will face the same thing. Your friends, family members, and community members may struggle to accept your new life as a Christian. Even the people within your own parish may not accept who you’ve become as an evangelizer.
I’m not saying any of this to discourage you from evangelizing in your hometown. My goal is simply to prepare you for the reality of what you will face.
Some of my strongest supporters come from the people I know personally in my life, but still, it can be disappointing when others do not show the same support.
Few believed I could change my life when I became a Christian so many years ago. Few understood or accepted my choice to become Catholic years later. Few visited my website when I started it a couple of years ago. Few took me seriously when I said that I was writing a book. Few have ever read a single word of my writing, whether online or in print.
But here I am today.
The important part is to leave bitterness behind. Do not get frustrated by their lack of acceptance. Instead, see it as a challenge. God still wants to use you to change their hearts – just realize that it may be an uphill battle.
You will struggle to be a hometown prophet. People may not accept the message you will share, which makes it even more important to let go of your own abilities and let Christ work through you.
Your hometown may not accept your authority as a Christian, but thankfully, you are approaching them with the authority of Christ.
If Jesus struggled as a hometown prophet in Nazareth, do not lose hope when you face challenges in your own community. Continue sharing your faith in Christ against all odds, and you might be amazed at what He can do.
Copyright © 2013, Chad R. Torgerson
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.