Rejection at Nazareth (Lk 4:24-30)
O Lord, never let me reject you.
Picture Jesus confronted by the angry citizens of Nazareth.
The mood of the crowd changes suddenly from acceptance to rejection. Jesus pinpoints the cause. They want to see miracles. Jesus recounts two stories in which the prophets worked miracles for non-Jewish people. Their rejection turns to an angry attempt to kill Jesus. However, it is not yet the time for his crucifixion.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
While preaching at the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus said, “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke favorably of him and marveled at the words which came from his mouth. Yet, they said, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” Jesus said, “You will say, ‘Physician, heal yourself. We have heard about the great things you have done in Capernaum. Do them here in your own country.’”
He continued, “I say to you. A prophet is without honor only in his native place. I say in truth. There were many widows in the days of Elijah in Israel, when the heavens were closed for three years and six months and there was great famine on the earth. To none of these was Elijah sent except to the widow at Zarephath near Sidon. There were many lepers in the time of Elisha the prophet, but he cleansed none except Namaan, the Syrian.”
When those in the synagogue heard these things they grew angry. They brought Jesus out of the city to the edge of a hill, so they could throw him down. But he passed through their midst and went his way.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- These people of Nazareth have an obstacle to accepting Jesus as a prophet. They knew him as a little boy, the son of Joseph.
- These memories close their minds to faith.
- Jesus pinpoints the problem. Prophets are accepted everywhere except where they grew up.
- The people feel that they have a right to Jesus’ miracles. After all, he grew up in Nazareth.
- Jesus cites Elijah and Elisha who worked miracles for foreigners but none for Israel.
- This rebuke stirs them to anger and to an attempt to kill Jesus. However, the Father wants Jesus to die in Jerusalem.
- Because of its lack of faith, Nazareth receives no blessing.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, I have so many obstacles. Remove them all.
- I accept you, Jesus. I open my heart wide. I am yours.
- Lord, all that I have comes from you.
- Jesus, your favors are for everyone. You push no one aside. You look with love, even upon me.
- Poor Nazareth is deprived of your blessings. Woe is me if I reject you.
- O Jesus, teach me your ways.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will seek Jesus today with childlike faith.
+ I will receive Jesus’ favors and I will use them well.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Jesus passed through their midst and went his way.