Luke 4:21-30 NRSVue
21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23He 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.’ ” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25But 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, 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many with a skin disease in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They 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. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Here is Jesus on his home turf, and he finds it hard to get a hearing. When they heard his gracious words, their reaction was not to the words but to what they thought they knew of Jesus' foster-father Joseph. What did they know? That he was a carpenter and a quiet man. But they judged Jesus by association.
Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have not listened to people with unwelcome messages, and instead have judged them by association, by their families or hometown or trade or whatever.
Why did the assembly turn on Jesus? Simply because what he said about the prophets Elijah and Elisha implied that God's offer of salvation was no longer restricted to Jews but extended to Gentiles as well. Such an implication was anathema to those who thought of themselves as God's 'chosen people.'
Is my Christian belief so restricted that I fail to see that God's choice is wider than mine?