Luke 8 and Matt 13 Ever go back to your high school reunion? If you have, you come away with ideas and thoughts about those four years. They walked with you, sat beside you in class but after high school, some stayed behind, and others went a different path. It was true for Jesus as well. He had grown up in Nazareth, but now he was busy with the Master’s business, and as he visits his hometown, he is shunned, scoffed at, ridiculed, challenged, and questioned about his family. As he is preparing to leave, he states: “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” [Matt 13:57] What does he mean by that? He means that another’s perception is based on what they remember, not what has changed. We face the same.
Circle back to the demon-possessed man. He, too, was changed, and Jesus told him to go and proclaim what God had done for him. Like the parable of the sower, he went sowing the seeds of his change; there were four reactions. Some shook their head and went on their way; some heard and were thrilled for his transformation, but then the “old gang” made life difficult, so they went back to their old ways. Some were thrilled and for a time walked with him, but then the challenges of everyday life were greater than the new life, so they walked back. But, then some heard and rejoiced with him, and they grew and prospered, and those were the ones that God used to prepare the way for a later time when the new believers would have to leave Jerusalem because of persecution.
The principle is don’t let your past dictate your “now;” go and spread the seed and leave the results to God.