Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how Jesus was rejected. Now you’re probably awrae Jesus was rejected most definitively when he was crucified – killed on a cross like a criminal. But he was also rejected throughout his life, and still today. Here’s a story from the early days of Jesus’ ministry when he had just gone home to Nazareth, his hometown, and went to the Jewish Synagogue.
Any Jewish male was allowed to speak if he notified the leader of the synagogue in advance. He read from the Prophet Isaiah some important words, that had always been associated with the Messiah, God’s anointed, chosen king.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
At the conclusion, Jesus said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Here’s what happened next:
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. (Luke 4:22-30 ESV)
At first, things were going well. People marvelled, and were surprised to hear the son of a local carpenter saying such things.
But then Jesus clearly pushes some buttons, and gets himself run out of town!
Question: What about Jesus’ words do you think angered them? His words quoted from Isaiah, his associating them with himself, or his later commentary and refusal to perform a miracle?