Wednesday, January 30, 2019
“And Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.’” [Luke 4:24]
We find Jesus in Nazareth again this week and he is still in the temple. After reading scripture and announcing, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing,” he doesn’t settle for the accolades he receives. Instead, he acts as an antagonist. He stirs the proverbial pot and things quickly boil over, for “the synagogue was filled with rage.” Have you ever experienced a quick turning of emotions from praise to rage? It reminds me of Holy Week when “hosannas” quickly turn into “crucify him.” What causes you to go from praise to rage? The worshippers in Nazareth were challenged by Jesus’ words, for he spoke of God’s work being done outside of the synagogue. God was at work, yet it seems Jesus was saying to them, “Not through you!” Ouch! The words of a prophet, whether Jeremiah or Jesus, often hold up a mirror we would rather not look in. A mirror that tells the truth about the way in which we are living versus the ways of God. Could it be that Jesus acts as an antagonist to till the soil of the Nazareth synagogue for renewed growth aligned with the purposes of God?
Holy One, I admit that my praise may have turned to rage at the hearing of Jesus’ words, if I had been in the synagogue that day. I don’t like to be confronted with my failings, for I am happy to believe that my walk of faith is on the right path. Grant me the humility to take correction, so that my life mirrors your will and ways. Amen.