February 20, 2016: Day 48 – Luke 4February 20, 2016
This is what is called Mt. Precipice and directly behind you would be the town of Nazareth. It is thought that it is here where Jesus is led in vs. 29 out of Nazareth so that the town people could throw him off the cliff for the blasphemy that they thought he was speaking. So what did Jesus say that was so disturbing to the people? He used the example of Elijah and Elisha. The examples he gives are found in I Kings 17 and II Kings 5 respectively. Their commonality is that in the above scriptures both of these prophets were not sent to the people of Israel, but rather gentiles, a widow and a leper. These examples are powerful because the gentile widow would have been the lowest on the totem pole while the gentile general with leprosy would not have even made it on the totem pole. What Jesus is saying is that just as I am not being accepted here in Nazareth, my hometown, I don’t feel so bad because I was not called to minister to you. Just like Elijah and Elisha, I was sent to those who would respond and believe, even if they are outside of the family of faith. It was not a very popular thing to say as you can see by the reaction of the people.
Once Jesus disappears from among the crowd he then goes back to Capernaum and continues to teach. The ironic part of all of these stories is that every place that Jesus goes people praise him. Even in Nazareth we read earlier that “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” Later we read: “They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.” Jesus couldn’t help but move people and people would never forget the time that they met this Jesus of Nazareth, even if we do have story after story of the disgruntled who want Jesus’ life. It does seem hard to believe that this story will end tragically after all of the political clout he seems to build up during this life with people really being touched by him.