Our scripture this morning is Luke 4:16-30.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ” “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Jesus went to His own town and spoke to those who knew Him best, but they were unwilling to hear the Good News. He used scripture from earlier prophets to open their eyes but they refused to see. They became so angry they planned to kill Him.
No one likes to hear their faults exposed, to be told we are going the wrong way. However, that is why Jesus came – to show us a better way than the one we’ve made for ourselves, and that only by God’s love can we be saved. The people in Nazareth rejected Jesus because He told them a hard truth.
What hard truths are we refusing to hear? Jesus tells us the same thing He said to them “No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6). He loves and cares for us all and waits eagerly for us to choose Him.
Loving Lord, we are willful and stubborn, not wanting to hear the truth because it hurts. Help us to overcome our selfish pride and accept the gift of life You offer. Amen.