“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.’ Luke 4:24 (NIV)
Jesus begins His ministry. He went back to His home area. But just when He started teaching, did He turn them to a negative reaction? Did He use strong language which cut their interest in His words? Did He directly state things that He knew they would have a hard time swallowing? Why would He do that?
Is it possible that Jesus needed to make a break? People in His region knew Him as a person. They knew Him as the Son of His parents. They knew His whole family, where He grew up and they made no distinction between Him and them. But does it seem that He needed to break them from this train of thought? Did He need to remove questions right from the start? Did He need to testify that He had been sent from a Higher Source? Did He need to correctly draw their attention to His tie with the Father? Did He need to set the scene so that they could eventually see the He was on a Heavenly mission? Did He need to testify that He was the One who is here to bring us together with God?
Jesus reads the Scripture passage in front of all the church. The text that opened to Him was one that spoke of the Savior sent from God. He sits down and all the people stare at Him. “What is He trying to say?” He blatantly declares that today this is fulfilled in front of their eyes. Does He leave them any choice? Did He just state that He was the One whom prophet and Scripture had foretold? Did He just tell them that the Man they all knew was not Who they thought He was? Did He just claim to be a Divine Person on a divine mission? How can any person have the nerve to claim to be God in essence? How can Jesus say He is the Son of the Most High God? Jesus goes on to tell them they would surely come to Him to ask Him to heal them. He tells them they would reject the thought that He was as great at the prophets which they esteemed. He tells them through examples that He knows they will not accept that He is Who He claims to Be. He tells them of other cases where God´s mighty arm was not available to others like them who had failed to receive healing. They too were missing the blessing. What reaction was left to them?
Luke tells us the people got angry. How could they take Jesus claiming to Be so connected to God? How could they stand to let Him tell them they would not be blessed because of their lack of faith? Wouldn´t we too get upset? In anger they drive Him out to the edge of the cliff. In defense of their convictions they must do away with One who would place Himself above them. To not have their grounded ideals shattered, they push Jesus out. To resist having to bow before Jesus and let Him be as important to them as He says He is, they would have Him die to them. What about us? How to we receive Jesus today? Are we going to listen to Him? Will we let Him tell us how important He should be to us? Will we accept that we need a little of His healing too?
Dear Jesus, are You telling us today that You are sent from God? Is there a message You would impress upon our hearts? What will our reaction be to You? Are we too set in our ways, ideals and thoughts? Will we open ourselves to accept You as our Lord? Will we listen to You? Could we make You as important to our lives today as You say You should Be? Can we turn to You and let You heal us too? Please open our eyes. Open our ears. Let us come and know You today.