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And even though they had tried to kill Him, Jesus wanted to do the same for the people in His hometown.  As He preached to them again, their hearts wanted to respond to His love.  But they could admit that this Man who had grown up with them was any better than they were.  They would ask, “Where did He get the power to heal and the wisdom to speak like He does?”  They would not believe that He was the Messiah.

Because of this, Jesus could not do many miracles in their town.  Only a few hearts were willing to be blessed by Him.  Their sick loved ones remained sick; their crippled friends were not given the ability to walk.  Finally Jesus left, never to return.

Just as the people of Nazareth and the Sanhedrin rejected Jesus, the nation of Israel finally made the same choice.  They rejected the Holy Spirit and put Jesus on the cross.  This led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews to nations all around the world.

Jesus wanted so much to show Israel the precious treasures of truth.  But they desperately held on to their pointless laws and empty ceremonies.  If they had honestly studied the Scriptures, the destruction of their city and nation could have been avoided.  

Jesus’ teachings also demanded repentance.  They would have had to change their behavior and give up on their hopes of national greatness.  They would be forced to go against the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of their time.

The Jewish leaders did not understand Jesus at all.  Their spiritual pride led them to expect honor at every turn.  Their jealousy protected their customs and ceremonies.  But Jesus, with all His power, was so humble!

If He were truly the Messiah, they argued, why didn’t He want honor and glory and an army to destroy His enemies?

But for more than any of these reasons, the Jews rejected Jesus because His pure life of love showed up their sinfulness.  They could live with disappointed plans for national glory, but they could not live with the spotlight of His purity shining on their unclean lives. 

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