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Rejection because of the truth

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Luke 4:16; And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
Luke 4:17; And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18; "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
Luke 4:19; TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."
Luke 4:20; And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Luke 4:21; And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Luke 4:22; And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
Luke 4:23; And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.'"
Luke 4:24; And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
Luke 4:25; "But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land;
Luke 4:26; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
Luke 4:27; "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
Luke 4:28; And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things;
Luke 4:29; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.
Luke 4:30; But passing through their midst, He went His way.

I has always been a perplexing passage for me. A lot of things are going on here.

Jesus is in Nazareth, sort of His home town if you will. He was born in Bethlehem, but raised in Nazareth.
Jesus goes into the synagogue and is reading from Isaiah 61:1; (although the verses weren't numbered then).

This passage mentions things like... setting the captives free, healing the blind, and helping the oppressed.
Jesus tells the people here... today this is fulfilled here. He kind of just stops there.
All the people are happy. They are speaking well of Him. They even know He is "Joseph's son". He is a homeboy.

He knows what they are thinking, so He tells them... "We heard what you did in Capernaum... do those things here!! (in your hometown). Do some good stuff for us. Heal us."

But Jesus has bad news for them. He tells them about Elijah. There were a lot of widows in Elijah's time.
But Elijah only helped one of them, and she wasn't even a Jew.
Then He says... There were a lot of lepers in Elijah's time also. But Elijah only helped one of them.
..and he was a Syrian... not even a Jew.

The people in His hometown do not receive this well as you can imagine.
A much shorter version of this same story is in Matt 13:53-58;
It says there that Jesus did not do many miracles here... because of their unbelief".

Because of their unbelief. Hmmmm... a lot could be said about this. Have you ever seen a miracle? Why not?

Now suddenly... these people who were just speaking well of Him... are now angry with Him.
They are filled with rage. They drive Jesus out of the city and want to throw Him off a cliff.

Isn't it amazing how fast people can become angry? Even people who liked you just a few minutes ago.
Even people from your home town. Especially if you did things for other people, but not your homeys.

Sometimes it's hard for us to imagine anyone could ever be angry at Jesus, and yet this is one of several places that this happened.

Amazingly... somehow... Jesus simply walks right through the angry crowd unharmed.
He doesn't apologize to them. He doesn't explain His answer to them. He doesn't try to persuade them "to believe". He simply walks away.

I wonder if sometimes we spend way too much time trying to convince people of something they simply don't want to believe. Maybe sometimes the best thing to do is... just walk away.
 

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