You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 29, 2022.

The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany is January 30, 2022.

Readings for Year C can be found here.

The Gospel reading is as follows (emphases mine):

Luke 4:21-30

4:21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

4:22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

4:23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'”

4:24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.

4:25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land;

4:26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.

4:27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

4:28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.

4:29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff.

4:30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Commentary comes from Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

We pick up the story of our Lord’s visit to his hometown synagogue in Nazareth where we left off last week.

Verse 21 implies that Jesus preached a sermon — ‘he began to say to them’ — the text of which is not included in this account.

Imagine having Jesus, the Messiah, preach to you and yours. It would be marvellous, to say the least. Words really couldn’t describe it.

Everyone was amazed, a word Luke used often, at what Jesus said, asking if He was Joseph’s son (verse 22).

That verse signifies that a change of mind was coming. They liked what Jesus said but wondered how He could say that Scripture was being fulfilled through Him when He was one of their own, a humble man.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says:

They said, Is not this Joseph’s son, and therefore his extraction mean and his education mean? Some from this suggestion took occasion perhaps so much the more to admire his gracious words, concluding he must needs be taught of God, for they knew no one else had taught him; while others perhaps with this consideration corrected their wonder at his gracious words, and concluded there could be nothing really admirable in them, whatever appeared, because he was the Son of Joseph. Can any thing great, or worthy our regard, come from one so mean?

‘Mean’ means ‘humble’ in that context.

Recall that the Jews were eager for a temporal Messiah. John MacArthur posits that some might wonder why Jesus did not cite Isaiah 61:2 in full (see last week’s reading), the second half of which says that God will avenge the wrongs done to His people.

MacArthur says:

They were speaking well of Him.  And what was behind that well speaking?  Well they were in awe of the gracious words which were falling from His lips.  I mean, there may have been some things that they were wondering about in His message.  I mean, they must have…some of them must have wondered why He stopped reading there in verse 19. Why did He stop reading in the middle of Isaiah 61:2, “The favorable year of the Lord,” and He stopped when the rest of the verse said, “And the day of vengeance of our God?”  Why did He leave the vengeance out?  Some of them probably were wondering about that.  Let me be very honest.  They were very eager for the Messiah’s coming. Honestly, they were as eager for the Messiah to come and wreak vengeance on their Gentile enemies as they were for Him to come and bring salvation to Israel.  They hated their oppressors.  It must have bothered some of them that Jesus stopped there and didn’t say anything about the day of vengeance. After all, had John the Baptist himself in his ministry about which they all knew, John the Baptist had said, “When the Messiah comes He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with (what? Fire) an unquenchable fire of judgment.”  So, even John had talked about that.

Being omniscient, Jesus knew what the congregation was thinking. They wanted to see a miracle, just as He had performed them in nearby Capernaum (verse 23).

Henry explains that the people thought that our Lord’s preaching was a prelude to one of His miracles:

They were pleased with Christ’s gracious words, only because they hoped they were but the introduction to some wondrous works of his. They wanted to have their lame, and blind, and sick, and lepers, healed and helped, that the charge of their town might be eased; and that was the chief thing they looked at. They thought their own town as worthy to be the stage of miracles as any other; and why should not he rather draw company to that than to any other? And why should not his neighbours and acquaintances have the benefit of his preaching and miracles, rather than any other?

Henry points out that, although our Lord’s miracles were of a physical nature, there was always a spiritual healing behind them:

They were designed to cure people of their unbelief;–“Now why should not the disease of unbelief, if it be indeed a disease, be cured in those of thine own city as well as in those of others? Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, that has been so much talked of, do here also in thine own country.

This is where the Nazarenes’ thinking begins to get complicated.

First, Jesus wanted to focus on salvation for everyone He encountered. Now was not the time for His Father’s vengeance.

MacArthur tells us:

Christ had no intention of overturning the power of Herod. He had no intention of kicking open the prison doors, of wreaking havoc and divine vengeance on the ungodly. This was the time for the age of salvation. The day of vengeance will come after the day of salvation.

And maybe there were some in the synagogue who were wondering why He didn’t read that and comment on it. He didn’t, because that was future. The day of salvation was present. He wasn’t there for vengeance on anyone, He was there for salvation. And through His whole life He didn’t express vengeance. He was there for salvation for anyone and everyone who recognized that they were poor, prisoners, blind and oppressed.

Secondly, the Nazarenes thought of themselves as already saved through their observance of Mosaic law. They did not see unbelief or sin as being one of their problems:

At this point they are in awe of His communication ability. And they are stirred, believe me, because they heard the truth presented as clearly as it could ever be presented. They understand exactly what He said and, believe me, they understand what He meant by what He said because He spoke so perfectly clear. And you know what the message to them was? Salvation is available for the poor, the prisoners, the blind and the oppressed. And they’re the only ones who will be saved. They got the message. If they wanted salvation, they had to confess their spiritual destitution, their spiritual poverty, their spiritual blindness, their spiritual bondage, their spiritual oppression.

They weren’t about to do that. Are you kidding me? That is the last thing they were about to do. They were righteous. They were noble. They worshiped the true and living God. They went to the synagogue. They gave their tithes. They fasted. They were like that Luke 18 Pharisee. They were the people of God. They were like Paul, and I read it in Philippians 3, they were circumcised and they had their tribal pedigree and they were of the people of Israel and they were traditionalists and they were ceremonialists and they were zealous for the law and they kept the law as blamelessly as they could. They aren’t the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed

And so, in self-defense they begin to think. The problem is not us. We just can’t buy this message. How do we know He’s the Messiah?  And they just put up a wallWe don’t know that He’s the MessiahAnd so Jesus reads their minds. That’s what He did.  That’s not a problem for Him.  Back in John 2 when He was in Judea it says that the people came to Him but He didn’t commit Himself to them, John 2:24, because He knew what was in them.  Omniscience, He read their minds.  And so He says to them in verse 23, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!  Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.'”

… You know, words of salvation were offered to them, forgiveness, good news, release, light, sight, but they had to be willing to admit they were the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed. That is absolutely unthinkable, unthinkable. No such confession is ever going to rise out of their hearts, their hard hearts are filled with pride and self-righteousness and religiosity. They would never accept the fact that they were the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed. And Jesus knew that because Jesus knew their hearts. He knew that.

MacArthur explains ‘physician, heal thyself’, a saying that is still in use today:

… Jesus says, “I know exactly what you’re saying, in your mind you’re…you’re saying, “Physician, heal yourself?”  This was a proverb that was well known. It’s actually the Greek word parabolē, which means “parable,” but parabolē has a broad meaning. It could include a proverb or an axiom. And it’s a fair axiom.  I mean, it’s a normal thing.  If you’re going to trust somebody to be a physician, you want some proof that he can…he can heal.  And so that’s what they say.  It’s a way of saying, prove your claims. Before we’re going to believe on You, before we’re going to believe that You’re the Messiah, You better do some miracles here like You did down there in Capernaum.

Then Jesus dropped a bombshell, saying that no prophet is well received by his own people (verse 24), in evidence throughout the Bible, culminating in His own crucifixion.

Henry says that people want to look up to an outsider, not someone they already know:

By a plain and positive reason why he would not make Nazareth his headquarters (Luke 4:24; Luke 4:24), because it generally holds true that no prophet is accepted in his own country, at least not so well, nor with such probability of doing good, as in some other country; experience seals this. When prophets have been sent with messages and miracles of mercy, few of their own country-men, that have known their extraction and education, have been fit to receive them. So Dr. Hammond. Familiarity breeds contempt; and we are apt to think meanly of those whose conversation we have been accustomed to; and they will scarcely be duly honoured as prophets who were well known when they were in the rank of private men. That is most esteemed that is far-fetched and dear-bought, above what is home-bred, though really more excellent. This arises likewise from the envy which neighbours commonly have towards one another, so that they cannot endure to see him their superior whom awhile ago they took to be every way their inferior. For this reason, Christ declined working miracles, or doing any thing extraordinary, at Nazareth, because of the rooted prejudices they had against him there.

Jesus continued, knowing that the congregation would get very upset, as MacArthur says:

They aren’t the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed. That’s got to be somebody else, that…that’s the Gentiles.

Jesus cited two instances where God’s prophets served the Gentiles rather than His own people.

Jesus reminded the Nazarenes that, during Elijah’s time, a drought plagued God’s people for three and a half years and a famine overtook the land (verse 25). Elijah sought out a widow, not among the Jews, but among the Gentiles in Sidon (verse 26).

MacArthur relates the story, explaining that God’s judgement had to do with His people worshipping Baal under the rule of King Ahab, yet God directed Elijah to the heart of the Baal-worshippers, Sidon, to meet the only believing widow there:

So it’s a time in Israel, apostate, they’re worshiping Baal, they’ve turned from the true God, the true and living God, they’re worshiping false gods. There are many widows. God sends a judgment on Ahab, a judgment on Israel and it’s a three and a half year droughtWidows are dying, the special care of God are these widows, not enough food to feed your own children let alone to give it away to some widow. That’s the situation. That is a judgment of God. First Kings 17, that judgment comes through Elijah, he drops on the scene out of nowhere and he announces this judgment. The judgment comes and it is a judgment on the idolatry, the Baal worship of Ahab and the people of Israel …

Sidon was Gentile territory on the north coast of Israel, Tyre and Sidon, the two familiar cities. Tyre and Sidon in that Gentile region, Zarephath was a town in between the two, Tyre and Sidon, a Phoenician city. The area was the home… This is even more amazing. The area was the home of the father of Jezebel. You know what his name was? Ethbaal, he was so devoted to Baal He named himself after Baal. Ethbaal means “Baal is alive.” And Ethbaal was such a wicked man he murdered his predecessor and he was a priest as well as being a king. He was the king of Phoenicia, Tyre and Sidon, he was the king, he was a Baal-worshiping king, he was also a priest in the temple of Melqart and Astarte, two of the deities in the pantheon of Baal worship. This is the most wretched thing imaginable. This is the father of the apos…of the apostasy, in a sense, in Israel because he’s the father of Jezebel who came and polluted Israel worship when she married Ahab, and so forth. And so here God sends His prophet to a woman from the home region of Jezebel, a Gentile widow. That famine… That area, by the way, was also affected by the famine. Food supply was low …

… God sends Elijah in this midst of all this famine over to Zarephath, to this widow. This is a widow who believes in the true God. The text of 1 Kings 17 indicates that. She says, “The Lord God of Israel lives.” She gives testimony. Somebody had witnessed to her about the true God of Israel and she trusted in the true God of Israel. She is a pagan Gentile widow in the midst of a pagan godless area but believes in the true and living God. And so to her goes the prophet of God rather than to Israelites. Her food supply was down to one little bit of flour and one little bit of oil, enough to make one cake, right? One scone, if you will, one biscuit … And he says to her, first of all, “Could you get me some water?” Huh. And then he says when she’s going to get the water, “Can you also take what you’ve got left and make me a meal?” Huh. This is a stranger, she’s never met this guy in her entire life, he walks in and says, “Take what you’ve got, that’s all you’ve got and make me a meal, I am the man of God, I am from the God of Israel.” She knows the God of Israel lives. She says it, “The Lord God of Israel lives.” Well, I’m from the God of Israel and I’m going to ask you, if you will, to take all that you have left, your last meal before you die, starve to death, and she had a son as well, and give it to me.

Now, you know, if she had been in the synagogue at Nazareth, she would have probably said, “Oh no, no, no. Aha, not on your life. How do I know you’re a man of God? How do I know whether you’re going to take that one thing and you’re going to do with that one thing something that’s going to provide for me all the rest of my life? How do I know that I can trust you? Could you please fly up in the air and spin around, could you do a few healings? Could you do some magic somewhere? I need to see something so that I can believe.”

That wouldn’t have proved anything if he had spun up in the air and done some amazing things, if he had done some healings or whatever, it wouldn’t have proven anything. The only way she would ever know whether God would supply all she ever needed was to take the little that she had and trust it to him. She figured that out, by the way. She wasn’t in the synagogue in Nazareth and it was probably a good thing or she might have been influenced by the crowd attitude. She probably thought like this, “Well, I only have one little cup left, one little bit of oil, that’s all I’ve got. If I give it to him and he is a man of God, then I’ll have life. And if he’s not, I’ll just have one less meal and die half a day sooner. I’m going to die anyway, what have I got to lose?” Pretty good thinking, isn’t it? “All I’ve got is one meal left. I’m destitute. I’m desperate. I’m in poverty. I have nowhere to turn. If I don’t trust the God of Israel who lives, if I don’t trust the man of God, I’m dead anyway, what’s half a day longer? But if he is the man of God, and if God did send him, then I have life.” The only way she would ever know was not if he went up in the air and spun around a few times, not if he went out and healed some people, the only way she would ever know that the God of Israel would give her all she would ever need was if she took what she had in her poverty and trusted him with it. She did.

And you remember the story? She made the little cake, the prophet ate it and the next thing that happened was her barrel was never empty. Remember that? It just was supernaturally filled all the time. And the cruse of oil was never empty. It just kept getting filled and filled and filled. That’s an analogy of spiritual life and supply. She took the little that she had, she gave it to the man of God and in return she got life, permanent life. And then…and the Lord did another amazing thing. Her son got sick and died, remember? And he raised her son from the dead just because she trusted the tiny bit that she had. She knew that she was the poor, the prisoner, blind, and the oppressed. And Jesus was saying to those Jews, “Let me tell you something, you may be Jews, you may be part of Israel, you may be the people of the covenants and the people of the Messiah, but I’ll tell you this, God will save an outcast Gentile widow who admits her spiritual destitution before He’ll save you.”

MacArthur then tells the story of Elisha and Naaman the Syrian from 2 Kings 5-7. God had passed another judgement on His Baal-worshipping people, this time with leprosy, which, at that time, comprised a number of debilitating and/or contagious skin diseases:

Elisha followed Elijah and that was a time, 850 to 790 B.C., disease was a major problem. Leprosy is a sort of a categorical word. It’s a broad term. It identifies various ancient skin diseases, everything from superficial diseases to serious diseases. It may also include what is today called leprosy, but really by that most people mean Hansen’s disease, but it included all kinds of diseases of the skin described in Leviticus 13. They tended to be disfiguring diseases, usually contagious diseases. They made the victim unclean, cut off from all fellowship, all social activity, cut off from the families and isolated because of the contagion that was believed to be a part of these diseases, and Israel had many, many such people with these diseases, many of them. It was in the time of Elisha, and they didn’t like Elisha, he didn’t have any honor in his own…in his own country any more than Elijah did. The people were still worshiping Baal, they were still turning their backs on the true and living God and along came leprosies everywhere and in verse 27, “There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet and none of them was cleansed but only Naaman the Syrian”

… Naaman was a commander-in-chief of a section known as Aram. He was a soldier. He was a… He was a big-time soldier. He commanded a set of troops that were always raiding Israel. They would come across the border and they would fight and they would terrorize and raid Israel and they would take prisoners and haul the prisoners back to Syria. He was a Gentile. He was a Gentile and worse than that, he was a leper, he had leprosy, he was unclean, he was despicable on every count. On one of his raids he took captive, this is in the stories in 2 Kings 5, first fourteen verses, you can read it yourself, he took back this girl, one of his captives and she became a servant in his house to help his wife. She had a great attitude, she knew about his leprosy and she said to him, “You need to go find the man of God, Elisha, because God can heal you.” And you know what happened? He began to believe in the power of the God of Israel and so eventually through some situations, I won’t go into all of it, he wound up meeting Elisha. Here is an enemy, a Gentile, somebody who has sacked and attacked and killed and plundered Israel and he’s a leper. This is the outcast of all outcasts. And Elisha says to him, “The God of Israel is willing to heal you. All you have to do is go over to the river and go down seven times”he was furious, he was a man of honor and a man of stature and a man of dignity and a man of nobility and he isn’t going to humble himself in some kind of humiliating deal and go dump himself down seven times in some dirty river. He even says, “We have clean rivers in my area, I’m not going in your dirty river.”

So he goes back and his servant says, “Well, better a dirty river and a clean Naaman, huh?” And he starts to think about it and he had second thoughts. And he realizes his desperation and he realizes there’s no relief and there’s no cure and there’s no healing and there’s nothing except the God of Israel. Is the man of God really the man of God? Is God really truly God? Is this really His prophet? How will I ever know that? How am I going to know that that’s true unless I do what He says? I have to take my desperation, my destitution, my disease, I have to go over there. I have to do what the man tells me to do. If I do what the man tells me to do, then I’ll know whether he’s the man of God, right?

So he goes over there and he does his seven ducks in the dirty river and guess what? Clean!

When the Nazarenes heard these stories, they were filled with rage (verse 28).

MacArthur says of the two stories, beginning with the widow from Sidon and then Naaman:

You know, the Jews didn’t like this story, I can tell you, and as Jesus starts to tell it, they start to get angry. Why is He bringing that ugly story up? God, the God of the fatherless and the widow, God, the God who cares about the widows, there was a famine in the land for three and a half years and the people were dying and the widows were dying and God never cared for any of the widows. We don’t like that story at all. They were familiar, believe me, with 1 Kings 17, very familiar with it. And if you think that was bad, that Elijah was sent to none of those Jewish widows, this was worse. He was sent to Zarephath in the land of Sidon to a woman who was a widow there. Now this is worse. Why? This woman in the land of Sidon, hang on, is a Gentile. It’s bad enough to be a woman in Jewish tradition at this time, it’s far worse to be a Gentile woman. But to come from Sidon, that is unthinkable. How could God ignore the Jews of Israel? But then how could He possibly send His prophet to go minister to a Gentile widow in, of all places, Sidon?

Oh boy, you’re sitting in the synagogue, you’re saying, “This is not going well. So we are worse than a Gentile widow from Jezebel’s hometown. We are worse than a Syrian Gentile leper. This is intolerable.”

In verse 28, “All in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things.” Let me tell you something, there’s nothing worse than spiritual pride, is there? You know, the Lord had said, “You know, I come to save, this is it. But I can only save the poor, and the prisoners, and the blind, and the oppressed. That’s all I can save and it doesn’t matter whether they are a Gentile woman or whether they are a Syrian leper, it doesn’t matter who it is, it just matters that they see their bankruptcy, their destitution, and they come to Me like the man who said, ‘Lord, I believe, but could You help my unbelief?’ And they may not know everything there is to know and their faith may not be full, but if they’ll just come in their desperation and say, ‘I don’t have a choice, here’s all I have and see what I can do with it.’ Then they’ll know that I’m the Messiah, right?”

The Nazarenes were so filled with their own spiritual pride that they got up, physically got Jesus out of town, led him to the brow of the local hill and tried to hurl Him off the cliff (verse 29).

Henry says that they were incensed to think that the Gentiles, unclean as they were, could be saved:

Their pious ancestors pleased themselves with the hopes of adding the Gentiles to the church (witness many of David’s psalms and Isaiah’s prophecies); but this degenerate race, when they had forfeited the covenant themselves, hated to think that any others should be taken in.

(2.) They were provoked to that degree that they made an attempt upon his life. This was a severe trial, now at his setting out, but a specimen of the usage he met with when he came to his own, and they received him not. [1.] They rose up in a tumultuous manner against him, interrupted him in his discourse, and themselves in their devotions, for they could not stay until their synagogue-worship was over. [2.] They thrust him out of the city, as one not worthy to have a residence among them, though there he had had a settlement so long. They thrust from them the Saviour and the salvation, as if he had been the offscouring of all things. How justly might he have called for fire from heaven upon them! But this was the day of his patience. [3.] They led him to the brow of the hill, with a purpose to throw him down headlong, as one not fit to live. Though they knew how inoffensively he had for so many years lived among them, how shining his conversation had been,–though they had heard such a fame of him and had but just now themselves admired his gracious words,though in justice he ought to have been allowed a fair hearing and liberty to explain himself, yet they hurried him away in a popular fury, or frenzy rather, to put him to death in a most barbarous manner. Sometimes they were ready to stone him for the good works he did (John 10:32), here for not doing the good works they expected from him. To such a height of wickedness was violence sprung up.

However, Jesus passed through their midst and went on His way (verse 30).

MacArthur says he does not know how Jesus did this:

We don’t know how that happened. Some miraculous way He just was gone.

However, Henry gives us a few possibilities:

Either he blinded their eyes, as God did those of the Sodomites and Syrians, or he bound their hands, or filled them with confusion, so that they could not do what they designed; for his work was not done, it was but just begun; his hour was not yet come, when it was come, he freely surrendered himself. They drove him from them, and he went his way.

Henry concludes that Jesus passed judgement on his fellow townspeople:

He would have gathered Nazareth, but they would not, and therefore their house is left to them desolate. This added to the reproach of his being Jesus of Nazareth, that not only it was a place whence no good thing was expected, but that it was such a wicked, rude place, and so unkind to him. Yet there was a providence in it, that he should not be much respected by the men of Nazareth, for that would have looked like a collusion between him and his old acquaintance; but now, though they received him not, there were those that did.

Jesus did return to Nazareth 18 months later for a final time, as MacArthur tells us:

In verse 24 He says, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.”  “Amen” is what the word is in the Greek, “I solemnly assure you.”  It’s an idiom for “I’m telling you the truth, this is really true. No prophet is welcome in his hometown, no prophet is dektos, accepted in his hometown.  All experts are from out of town, aren’t they?  It’s more of that “familiarity breeds contempt.”  And You know, there’s a bit of a concession here. I think Jesus is making a bit of a concessionHe’s saying to them, “I can see that it’s hard for you to get past the fact that I’m a local guy, that I grew up here and that I am Joseph’s son and Mary’s boy and that this is my synagogue and you saw me here all those years of my life.  I understand that.”  There’s a bit of a concession there.  And I think there’s a bit of…there’s a bit of mercy in that in Jesus’ case.  I understand that no prophet is welcome in his hometown. That, by the way, is a phrase He repeated a year and a half later when He came back again to that synagogue. He says the same thing as recorded in Matthew 13:57 and Mark 6:4.  He also used it as recorded in John 4:44.  So there were a number of times when He referred to this.

Why don’t people believe in God through His Son?

MacArthur has the answer:

There’s only one reason why people who know the gospel don’t accept Christ. It is because they do not see themselves as the poor, the blind, the prisoners, and the oppressed. Do you see it? That’s always the problem. It’s always the problem.

Salvation has always been that way, folks. It’s always been that God will save Jew or Gentile when they come to a point of spiritual destitution and they know it

You want to know whether Jesus can save you from hell? Ask Him. Give Him your life, that’s the only way you’ll ever know. You can see all the miracles under the sun, false miracles or whatever, you can see the whole parade of stuff. It’s not going to convince you. There’s only one way to know that Jesus can save your soul from hell and change your life and send you to eternal heaven with all your sins forgiven and that is to take your meager, little, wicked life and hand it over to Him and see what He does with it.

In closing, MacArthur has two excellent observations on Jesus and His miracles.

The first is that no one around at the time ever questioned their validity:

Let me tell you something as you study the New Testament.  Never does the Jewish population or the Jewish leaders question Jesus’ miracles, never.  They never question them.  In John 11:47 the Pharisees, the chief priests said, “This man is doing miracles.” They never questioned that.  That was not a question in their minds.

The second is that, despite all the miracles He performed — too many to be included in the Gospels — the people still wanted Him to die:

Jesus banished disease from the whole land of Palestine and they put Him on a cross.

There is much to ponder in this Gospel story in the week ahead.

We can think about the horrible consequences of spiritual pride, and we can contemplate the false self-sufficiency of unbelievers. Both groups always know better.

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