Posted on Feb 07, 2019 by Emily Nelson Dixon
Luke 4:21-30 Common English Bible (CEB)
He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”
Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?”
Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”
When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.
I love this story, because in the beginning everyone was super impressed with this Jesus they knew from the neighborhood. You’ve been there — you watch someone grow up and then they become a successful adult human and part of you feels a little bit responsible for their success — just because you are part of their community. So the folks listening to Jesus were swelling with pride. Until he talked about the potential of not being able to serve their every heart’s desire. And how quickly they changed their minds — they ran Jesus (this boy they watched grow up on the block) out of town!
And so it goes with group mentality. We’re seeing that a ton these days. People get really worked up without even reading the whole article about what is offending them. We refuse to listen to the other side because what could they possibly have to teach us??
Jesus didn’t get mad and storm out, he simply stated his truth and walked through the crowd as they were threatening to throw him off a cliff.
I don’t think we have to hide our truth when we disagree, but I know we can approach each other with patience and treat each other with dignity. That’s my goal.
Emily Nelson Dixon
Director of Teen Ministries and Outreach