“When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong” (Luke 4:28-29).
In today’s Gospel passage, we see that what began as a happy reception of Jesus eventually turned into an attempt to kill Him. What was responsible for this sudden change of attitude? Truth! Luke tells us that it was the usual custom of Jesus to go to the Synagogue in Nazareth. That was where He was brought up and the people knew Him very well. The only problem was that they did not realize Jesus was more than the Carpenter’s son.
On this day, Jesus decided to step into the podium to proclaim the message. He read from the book of the prophet Isaiah a passage that was about Him. He made them understand how privileged they were that that passage was being fulfilled in their hearing.
So long as Jesus said beautiful things to them, they were happy with Him. Luke reported that “all spoke well of Him and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded from His mouth.” So why would the same people who spoke well of Him turn against Him intending to throw Him off the cliff?
Dear friends, truth is bitter. People don’t like to hear the truth but prefer to hear messages that make them happy. No wonder the prosperity gospel has become so popular today; it has become opium of the masses; preventing them from facing reality and amending their ways.
By reminding them about the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian, Jesus was hinting them about the universal implication of the Good news that He had brought. The fact that they were Israelites does not give them grounds to boast. It was at this point that all the synagogue rushed Jesus out intending to kill Him by throwing Him off the cliff. The question we must all ask today is: “How do I react when confronted with the truth?”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may the truth of your word guide my life, Amen.
By Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu.