Luke 4:28 (ESV): 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
Jesus had just begun his earthly ministry. He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in the synagogues. Now, he had returned to his hometown of Nazareth.
On the Sabbath day, he went to the synagogue, and he was given the privilege of reading the scripture for the day and making comments.
Jesus read the prophecy of Isaiah that God had anointed him to proclaim good news. Jesus told the people that this scripture had been fulfilled that day before them.
The people’s response initially was favorable. They recognized him as from their hometown. Jesus then anticipated the objections they would later have. He noted that no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
He gave as examples Elijah going outside of Israel to find food during the great famine and Elisha healing only the Syrian leper, Naaman.
It was this that riled the anger of the people. But it was not so much that Jesus suggested that they would challenge his authority as a prophet.
Rather, the people perceived Jesus was making an unwanted political statement by saying only foreigners were receptive to God’s moving in their midst.
We must be extremely careful not to allow our personal prejudices, political preferences, and petty ideas to blind us to God’s presence and power.
Jesus did powerful miracles throughout Israel, but in his hometown he did little. The reason was not some failure on his part, but the refusal of the people to believe.
Do we pass up miracles today because our minds and hearts are so closed that we cannot see or hear God at work in our midst?
Heavenly Father, help me to receive you with open ears, open eyes and a receptive heart. May I be characterized by simple, large trust in you. Amen.