Here is the Link for Today’s Text: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=323066290
Good News 4:14-15
Its official, Jesus is officially on the scene. It starts small, going from town to town, healing and teaching, but word spreads. This is a short pericope, but it summarizes a great deal. We don’t know how much of Jesus’ ministry is encapsulated in this short passage, but it signals his rise, something I think we can imagine happened fairly quickly, or at least for the ancient world.
- What might Jesus’ humble beginnings tell us about conducting ministry today?
- What does it say about Jesus that he starts everything off in the small towns of Galilee, instead of in Jerusalem, or Rome (or even in larger cities like Damascus or Antioch) say about the way God interacts with the World.
Rejection in Nazareth 4:16-30
This is Jesus’ bold return home. I have to admit, reading this challenges my understanding of Jesus. I always like to think of him as humble, maybe soft spoken to a degree, but not without his moments of passion in front of crowds. But here, he is being particularly bold. He is reading Isaiah, and telling folks that have known him since childhood, that he will fulfill the promise made there. To add to this, at first the people are impressed, but instead of resting on that, Jesus kind of provokes them. He could have left well enough alone, but he basically insults them, telling them he can very be accepted in his own hometown.
I have to imagine there is a little more to this story, we get the hint of a group of people that were accepting him with a kind of “oh, isn’t that nice, its good to see Joseph’s son making something of himself, he was so challenged in carpentry, but he speaks so well” without really listening to any of the content. To a certain extent, Jesus must know it will always be like that in Nazareth, he will always be Joseph’s (maybe daydreaming) son. He doesn’t care about the free support he receives, almost as if when they turn against him, he has to now sway them as the son of God, not as the son of Joseph. That if they are to see his true purpose, they needed to dismantle their free support, and see Jesus for what he was doing, not who he had been. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t, maybe there is something else going on here, that I am missing. What do you think?
- Is it true, are prophets never accepted in their hometowns?
- How do you hear this, knowing you have probably unconditionally supported a hometown youth, maybe without really listening?
- How do you hear this, as someone who was once a youth in their own hometown, possibly supported, but not listened to?