Ever felt like you couldn’t go “home” again? Home could be an actual home. It could also be a job, a group, a location, or even a particular church. For Jesus, it was his hometown of Nazareth.
After the two days he departed for Galilee. For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown. So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. – John 4:43-45, ESV
After two days with the Samaritans, it was time to move on. He went back to the region of Galilee but not back to Nazareth. We are told why: He wasn’t respected there. He couldn’t go home again.
Jesus wasn’t the cause of the alienation. That didn’t matter because the separation was real. There have been times in my life where I felt I couldn’t go back to something or somewhere. Likely you have, too. It’s hard, especially if the reason for the separation isn’t our fault. The good news for us is that Jesus understands that feeling. He can empathize with it because He dealt with it.
We are reminded over and over again that Jesus faced every temptation that we face, that He was fully human as well as fully divine. He can empathize with us because He has shared the lows: poverty, betrayal, hatred, racism, injustice, and much more. Therefore, when we turn to Him in prayer over any of these things for which we hurt, we don’t have to explain. He understands.
Stop and meditate on that for a moment. Even when it seems like no one else gets it, Jesus always does. Therefore, we can pour out our hearts to Him. We can express the rawness of our pain. And we can receive the kind of comfort that only comes from sharing with someone who has been through the same sort of thing. We get all of that with Jesus. How often we forget this.
So if you’re hurting, especially if you’re facing a situation where you feel like you can’t go “home,” seek Jesus in prayer. Let go of the pain and give it to Him. Allow Him to be your comfort. Allow Him to be the one who helps you in your time of trouble. The Bible reminds us that God wants to be there for us in times like these. It’s not Him that keeps us apart. It is us. But we can also choose to seek after Him, to go to Him with broken hearts for Him to mend. After all, this is the sort of thing He did with the Samaritan woman. He mended her broken spirit, the one that kept trying to find love by pursuing different men. Whatever our hurts are, Jesus can help us mend them.