RAVE REVIEWS TO ANGRY RANTS
As I read the Bible today, Holy Spirit, please build my vision for serving Jesus in whatever circumstances are mine today.
Read LUKE 4:14-30
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[b] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre there times when you need to lay aside what you want to hear and open your heart to what God is saying?
Jesus’ public ministry began with a bang! The prophet of the year had vouched for him; divine favor crowned his inauguration (Luke 3:15,22); his Galilean ministry was a roaring success. By the time he returns to his hometown, Jesus is earning rave reviews (vs 14,15). The carpenter’s son is invited to take the pulpit, and both messenger and message are well received. When Jesus sits down, his audience is already hooked—all eyes are on him, and they are all ears as they wait for him to expound on the ‘gracious words’ he has proclaimed (vs 18-22). But although Jesus begins well, things don’t end well.
When famous people make speeches, newspaper headlines and social media posts frequently highlight a few provocative phrases, and few bother to turn the page or click the link to find out what more was said or what was really said. Jesus leaves no margin for anyone to misinterpret his message. His ‘gracious words’ are not just for his Jewish audience; the good news of God’s grace is equally for the despised gentiles (vs 24–27). Tempers rise, and the fall in Jesus’ popularity ratings is fast and furious! Rave reviews give way to angry rants, and Jesus not only loses his audience but is in danger of losing his life (vs 28,29).
Consciously or unconsciously, do I view some people as ‘outsiders’ who are beyond the reach of God’s grace?
Lord Jesus, I am amazed that you would choose to love me! Help me to see others as you do and love them as you would.
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