June 24, 2022
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
Remember St. Stephen and the little discussion he had with the Sanhedrin – just before they stoned him to death? Here is Jesus teaching and revealing and convicting; as we’ve already discussed, folks don’t like hearing about how bad they are. So they chase Jesus out of the synagogue and by pressing around Him, they lead Him to a precipice.
I have been told, by an Archbishop, no less! that I am not the only one who notices these instances in the New Testament when Jesus is surrounded by folks who want to harm (or kill!) Him and ‘suddenly’, He’s in some other place. Yes; Jesus is fully human. Yes; Jesus is fully divine. So … don’t you think He was able to ‘access’ His divinity to put Himself elsewhere at a time of need? Doesn’t He say in St. Matthew 26:53 “thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” I can’t help but laugh; these poor folks had absolutely no idea Who they were dealing with.
But these verses also make the Cross that much more heart-rending. He could, of course, have escaped when the soldiers came for Him in Gethsemane, but He GAVE HIMSELF UP. For us. In obedience to His Father. And I am overcome; what love is this?