It Is Difficult To Accept That Someone We’ve Always Known Is Someone We Do Not Know

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

Gospel – 8/31/20 – Luke 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.

”And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’
”And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.

It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.
”When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.

They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

In the midst of a conversation, things can turn violently in another direction.
It is difficult to look at someone you have known all your life as a common, everyday person and suddenly realize they aren’t really common or ordinary.

You wonder, when did this change happen?

Jesus, experiences this today. We hear how he reads scripture and suddenly sits down. His reading was authoritative and those who heard it were in awe. Then, he tells them the scripture is fulfilled in their presence.

Suddenly, they begin to realize this is the son of a man they had all known well – a carpenter.

Now, he’s supposedly sent from God.

Jesus sees their little minds working and he answers them before they ask.

He is sent just as Elijah and Elisha were sent. Not, to people who would reject him but rather to people the Jews viewed as inferior.

That they couldn’t take – Jews were arrogant and believed only they were the people of God. Not the dogs – the Gentiles.

So they try to harm him by pushing him off the brow of the hill but – right is right. And he walked away thru the midst of them all and no one laid a hand on him.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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