Today’s Scripture: Luke 4:28-30 (NIV) “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”
Happy Easter and shaloam, this the time when Christians celebrate the life of Christ Jesus. I have just returned from the Holy Land where I spent a morning in Nazareth on Mount Precipice which is at the southern edge of the city. This mountain is also called the “Leaping Mountain” because Jewish lore says Jesus leaped from the mountain.
Nazareth is the hometown of Mary the mother of Jesus. It is where Gabriel the angel visited Mary with a heavenly proposal to birth the Christ. It is also the childhood home of the Lord. It became a hostile place for him after he entered a synagogue one day, read from the scroll in Isaiah and proclaimed that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy in that Scripture. He also sat in a chair reserved for the Messiah. Men who at the synagogue became angry and threw him out of the city. They chased him up the mountain, intending to throw him off. Jewish tradition says he leaped off. The Bible says something supernatural happened. He actually walked back through the crowd unnoticed.
In today’s text, his fellow townsmen were so offended they tried to kill him. However, it was not time for him to die. There was still work to be done. So he moved to Capernaum, a nearby fishing village, the home of Simon Peter and many of the disciples.
Although he did not do many miracles in Nazareth, over the next three and a half years Jesus performed miracles, signs and wonders in surrounding towns.
Many Jews believed he was the Messiah. He trained his disciples to do great works in his name, and then said his time to die had come.
“My time is at hand; O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Matthew 26:18, 26:42 (KJV).
Everyone wants to be accepted and respected where they live. In the face of hostility, in his hometown, amidst rejection from friends and family and even under the threat of death, Jesus persevered and finished his assignment. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Deason is pastor of Liberty Prayer Chapel and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.