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Summary: We are all called to prophets just as Ezekiel was called.

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When God’s Your Boss…

Jesus returned home to Nazareth

was he coming home to rest?

to visit family?

see old friends?

Whatever his reasons

he brought his disciples with him this time.

Maybe he came to Nazareth

as one of his stops along his travels

to share again with them the “good news”

But Jesus had already been there

and was rejected.

And now again

although Jesus offered knowledge of the Kingdom of God

his hometown received him not.

Their questions were

How can he do this?

What right does he have to say this?

And Jesus closes the episode at home

with a phrase that has always caught my attention:

Prophets are not without honor,

except in their hometown,

and among their own kin,

and in their own house.”

Ever had a hand craft you did well?

a project you completed?

even a picture you painted?

Then you get it out to show off

-- just a little –

and received the HO, HUM treatment

That’s nice (yawn)

Then you have an idea of how Jesus felt

how prophets have felt down through the years.

Look at Ezekiel in our first lesson:

God even tells him

that Israel will refuse to hear him

“I am sending you … to a nation of rebels”

God is saying

A Prophet is great

except in his own country!

Ezekiel comes from the time period

when prophets were in their prime

800-600 BC.

Kings ruled the Northern and Southern Kingdom of Israel.

And the kings had court appointed prophets

who were supposed to be speaking for God

but if you are employed by the king

who would you represent:

God and his usually unpopular judgments against the King

OR the King?

So God had to send his own prophets

Prophets looked at history only in terms of the divine.

In other words,

Prophesy is the expression of God’s divine purpose

to the Kings and people of Israel.

So what did a prophet do?

1) A prophet received the spirit of God

Isaiah’s says that

the spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me.

Ezekiel receives God’s spirit

and is told to stand up

and go and speak God’s will.

2) A prophet is sent by God.

Jeremiah says, “I cannot go, I am only a youth.”

God says, “I will put my words in your mouth.”

Ezekiel has the mission “I send you to a nation of rebels”

and God gives them the prophetic formula

SAY: Thus says the Lord God:

3) A prophet also has an unpopular message

Ever heard a prophet with a good message?

You’re going to win the Ohio State Lottery!

OR You will conquer the world!

Oh, sure some had good news:

Nathan told David

that God would establish his kingdom forever.

Jeremiah spoke of the return of the Babylonian Exiles.

But the prophets usually spoke doom and gloom.

Because of your alliances with foreign nations

and your forsaking of trust in God

you will be destroyed!

sent into captivity!

REPENT OR DIE!

4) A prophet will probably not be well received

Now that a prophet is ready to go out

he finds out that the odds are

that people won’t even listen to what he has to say!

God promised the prophets

a stubborn people

who will not listen.

The position of prophet

was always unique and difficult.

Very few people actually applied for the job

and consider the odds:

Being an outcast or Stoned to death


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