Did you get goosebumps when you read this passage? I did. I was totally immersed in the scene of Jesus preaching to his hometown crowd. The words from Isaiah that he read that day were, in fact, being made true that very moment. Profound. Miraculous!
I don’t think the people even realized. After all, wasn’t he Joseph’s son? This speaks loudly to us that Jesus did grow up quietly and in an unassuming way, never drawing attention to his kingdom royalty.
He did go on to explain, and even gave examples. The reality is that hometown kids don’t always get the best reception with those familiar to them. Many times, their mission was not in their hometown with those most dear to them. We need to be ready to be used by God wherever he leads us.
While I’m not gifted as a prophet, I was for a time given the privilege to work and teach in my home church as children’s ministry director. It’s one of my favorite jobs, yet I was never given a title other than “interim” for the four years I worked in that capacity. It was a season that I treasure, but realize as hometown kid, it wasn’t going to last. God has other plans for me.
In just six verses here, the people go from “speaking well” of Jesus, to being “furious.” That has really always left me a bit perplexed. Are people that fickle? Were they that selfish that they expected special treatment from Jesus? We heard that news was traveling fast about him in the region, and his popularity was growing. His hometown crowd chose to reject. Why?
So what should we take away today? I suppose the closing words, Jesus “went on his way.” He didn’t stay to engage with them, to plead his case, to rile them even further. He simply left. For those of us who have experienced any sort of bullying, argumentative encounter or other severe disagreement, to follow Jesus’ lead and just walk away can oftentimes be the best solution. How often we say things in anger we really don’t mean, or lose our “filter” and say things in a hurtful way. It’s best to walk away.
Let’s pray. Father forgive me for times that I say things that are hurtful and not productive. Restore relationships that have been adversely affected by such laziness on my part. May I relish and marvel at how Jesus indeed fulfills prophecy. May I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and trust his ways as a blueprint for what I should be doing in my life. Help me to glorify you in all I say and do. Help me to see clearly the path you have for me. Use me Lord. I am your servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.