The gospel reading for this Sunday comes from Luke 4:21-30. In this passage Jesus has just read from Isaiah in his home synagogue. He has read to his friends and family that the prophesies were about to be fulfilled.
In response to this the people hearing say, “Is not this Joseph’s Son?
When we read statements like this in other passages, we hear it as if the speakers are slandering Jesus. Yet, we could also hear this as an excited exclamation. Instead of hearing this as a slant, we could also hear it as if Jesus were the hometown hero. “That’s Joseph’s son who is starting quarter back in the Super Bowl.” The people of Nazareth could have thought that they would be stars or celebrities because the Messiah was one of their own. And if Jesus did miracles elsewhere, think what amazing things he will do for his hometown, right?
But immediately, Jesus corrects them. He shows that God sometimes sends prophets to people who are regarded as the enemy.
For Jesus’ words, the people become angry and they try to throw him off a cliff. but he does not allow it. Instead he goes on his mission of proclaiming the good news to the poor and release to the captives.
This makes me wonder why they didn’t want Jesus to do his work with others? Why did they want to keep Jesus as their own, as if Jesus were their special prize? Why didn’t they want to share what Jesus was doing and was going to do with the whole world? What if, instead of trying to throw him off the cliff, the Nazarenes had joined him? What if they had become his disciples? What if they became sharers in the work?
Of course, that is a question we could also ask ourselves? Do we keep Jesus for ourselves? Do we want him only on our team, or do we want him to save others as well? Have you shared Jesus lately, or are you keeping him to yourself?