When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
Egos are delicate things and can bruise easily. We all feel like we have worth and take pride it that. Most of us take pride in where we are from and how we were raised. We might even boast of our education, where we went to school or what our job is. But when those things we see as qualities come into question, then we become defensive, hurt or even angry. We might lash out to those who question our abilities or processes. Yet they may be right, and we just can think straight enough to admit it. Our judgment might be clouded. This is when it's best to step back and let God gain control of things.
Today is the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time and our gospel comes from Luke. The reading begins the public ministry of Jesus as he returns to his home town of Nazareth and goes to the synagogue to read from the scriptures. After reading from the book of Isaiah, he tells those in attendance that the fulfillment of the prophets has come to pass and he is that fulfillment. They begin to question him…questions arise about his upbringing and of miracles described. When Jesus retorted stating that prophets are not welcomed in their native place, or that they were not ready for miracles, those listening became offended. Their egos were bruised and they were mad, in fact furious. They were uncomfortable with this teaching…so much so that they wanted to do him harm by throwing him down a hill. In today's world, many people have lost sight of the prize of heaven. They do not accept the teachings of the Jesus and his Church. Most are not ready to accept Jesus as their savior. When questioned or confronted, they can become quite angry and agitated. Remember in the reading, they were ready to strike Jesus down. Jesus, in his sovereignty, could have struck all of them down and commanded that they obey. Instead he took a different approach. He wanted them to have a conversion of heart and a desire to want him. We have to do the same. We have to approach Jesus with an open and surrendering heart to live the Christian life. There are many times in scripture where we find Jesus in a precarious position teetering on violence. He teaches us to turn the other cheek, to wipe the dust off of our feet of the town that doesn't accept us. Instead of rage and anger which leads to sinful violence, we need to have courage. We are called to stand up for what we believe in and proclaim it, with respect, compassion and love.