Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hurl Him Off the Cliff!

This Sunday's Gospel reading from Luke 4:21-30 shows us the reaction of Jesus' hometown people to his audacious claims and to his inflammatory retorts to their protestations.
Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’
The people were probably thinking, "Blasphemy!" because of what Jesus had just read aloud (refer back to last week's reading).

As if that didn't upset them enough, Jesus proceeds to essentially say that they are not going to receive God's blessing,
He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’ And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
The people's response to what they perceived to be the ravings of a blasphemous wacko was to try to hurl him off a cliff which is a kind of death by stoning with the exception that usually the stones are the objects that get hurled.

What would be the response of any reasonable, educated, modern if a person came into their place of worship and made such a claim?

We tend to reject prophets...

...unless they agree with us.

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