4:21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
4:22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
4:23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'”
4:24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.
4:25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land;
4:26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.
4:27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
4:28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.
4:29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff.
4:30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
This is an intense part of scripture in which we see Luke’s first mention of hostile opposition to Christ’s ministry. The mere idea that the Gospel would no longer just belong to the Jewish nation and would now be spread to the Gentiles, angered the hearts of those who heard it. The Jewish nation though that they were a chosen people and that the promise of a coming Messiah belonged to them and them alone.
Christ came on a mission to save lost sinners. His goal was to break the division between Jews and Gentiles. He aimed to reach the entire world and to spread the gospel to each and every single soul.
There are moments in our lives in which we are going to be faced with opposition when it comes to spreading the message of the gospel. There are going to be moments of fear and self doubt and maybe embarrassment at speaking out the truth. There are those who have even risked there very lives when it comes to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
I remember when I was asked to give a short devotional to my group of fellow colleagues in teachers college. I was so incredibly nervous, because despite going to a Christian university, there was a good number of students who were not Christians. I recall having a conversation with a friend and I was encouraged because I was reminded that my job is to simply speak the truth with boldness and trust that God will move in ways that we never can. I was reminded by the verse in Psalms 19:4 that says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Let us make that our prayer to live out each and every day.
What is amazing here is not that Jesus claimed to be the messiah in His own town but that they were so upset with Jesus that they were going to throw Him off a cliff for it. Had he claimed to be God or another form of blasphemy it would seem more normal to attempt a stoning or a murder of the offender. But Jesus did no such thing and claiming to be the messiah was not punishable by death. Moreover, many people of that time claimed to be the messiah. So why were they so upset?
They were upset because Jesus challenged a set of beliefs that had developed into a sacred status. They wanted a messiah who was a warrior and a king. Jesus was not that messiah and these people knew Jesus since His birth. As foolish as they were to try throwing Jesus off of a cliff, we do the same thing on a daily basis.
How often have we gotten upset when someone challenges our core beliefs? How often have we taken a defensive stand when someone expresses a theological opinion that is different than our own? I actually knew a pastor who lost church members when he decided not to wear a robe on Sunday morning anymore. What does a robe have to do with anything? Nothing of course. But some church members had developed a set of beliefs and over time they became sacred.
Let us not be so blinded by our preconceived theological notions that we miss the Spirit of the Lord working or miss and opportunity to serve the Lord.