MONTGOMERY (Maggie Walsh) — Bob Pitman, of Bob Pitman Ministries, urged unity to participants of the Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference, saying, “There are a lot of things that would divide our togetherness but the one common bond, the one common uniting person, is Jesus Christ.”
In this world there are a lot of things to divide us, Pitman said, but Christ is so much bigger than any divisive element the world throws at us.
Referencing Luke 4:14–30, Pitman spoke about the time Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth.
“Jesus grew up in Nazareth, where He lived 30 of his 33 years. He participated in family life, in business life, in community life, in spiritual life. He participated in every kind of life He could participate in and yet there was no sign (as you came into town) that said, ‘Welcome to the hometown of Jesus.’”
Why is that? Because Jesus never performed a single miracle until He left his hometown, Pitman said. So when He returned home in the midst of His ministry, people were curious.
While in Nazareth, Jesus did three things.
First He made the “unmistakable declaration” that He was the Messiah. Then He spoke an “undeniable revelation” where He revealed what the crowd was thinking and what was in their hearts.
“Jesus dared to suggest that God loves Gentiles as much as He loves Jews,” Pitman said, which made the crowd murderous.
And finally He departed from them in an “unexplainable separation,” escaping a hostile crowd by simply passing through their midst.
“How did that happen?” Pitman asked.
“I don’t know,” he said to a chuckling crowd, closing with the challenge to participants to “talk [to others] about the source of our togetherness — Jesus.”
“There are a lot of things that would divide our togetherness but the one common bond, the one uniting person is Jesus Christ. He loves people of all colors, races and ethnic backgrounds.”