Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
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.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Why did the people of the synagogue get so angry with Jesus to the point that they wanted to kill Him? Jesus was challenging the people of Israel. There were many widows in Israel, but Elijah was sent to Zarephath of Sidon, which was pagan country. There were many lepers in Israel, but only the pagan Naaman the Syrian was cleansed. Jesus began by telling them that “no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” Just prior to this in Luke 4, Jesus told them that He was the one that was going to bring liberty to captives, give sight to the blind and let the oppressed go free.
What is the Lord trying to convey to us in this Gospel passage? Jesus was teaching them that the Good News of salvation was not limited to a race, country or privileged group. The Good News was for everyone, without limitations. And if you wanted to be a member of Jesus’ family, one needed to hear the word of God and act upon it. You could not just inherit salvation by your bloodline. You could not assume salvation by your place of birth.
Who do we act like more – Jesus or the people of Nazareth?
Do we ever feel superior to others?
Who are those excluded from our society?
How can we reach out to them like Jesus did?
Heavenly Father, heal anything within me that causes pride to be stirred in my heart. Do not let me look down upon others, but help me to see them as you see them Lord, as your beloved sons and daughters. Keep me humble Lord…
Have a blessed day!