Read Luke 4:16-30
Nazareth . . . It was Jesus’ hometown. If you remember, Mary and Joseph had only gone to Bethlehem because that was the home of their forefathers. Personally, they hailed from Nazareth. Jesus grew up there and was a known entity as the son of the carpenter. It was not unusual, then, for Him to be there and to worship His Father in the synagogue.
On that particular Sabbath, Jesus read a passage of Scripture from Isaiah. It was one that contained the word “me” three times. After reading, Jesus sat down and made clear that He was the “me.” He was the One anointed by the Spirit, the One proclaiming good news, the One freeing captives, the One healing the blind, the One releasing the oppressed, and the One announcing the year of God’s favor. He was the long anticipated Messiah.
The initial response of those present was surprising. Had those present fully understood? They spoke well of Him and marveled at what He said. But wasn’t He just a hometown boy?
This was not a response that reflected a full grasp of His identity. They did not see Him as the Messiah, much less even as a prophet. If they had recognized Him as such, they would have rejected him. That’s what happens with prophets in their hometowns. Take Elijah, for example. During the time of famine, he was not received by a Jewish widow. No, it was a Sidonian widow that cared for his needs. Or think about Elisha. Of all the lepers he could have healed, he chose one from outside the nation of Israel. Similarly, Jesus came expecting His own people to reject Him while ultimately anticipating a broader reception among the Gentiles.
The next response was not so surprising. Now came the furious reaction that Christ had anticipated. As part of the enemy’s demonic plot, the people drove Jesus out of the city to the edge of a cliff.
But what happened next was nothing short of miraculous. Surrounded by people bent on His destruction, Jesus just walked away. How could He do that? I don’t know. It would have been amazing to watch!
The divine plan was victorious. His purposes would not be thwarted by Satan. He would yet live and die to fulfill the purposes of His Father.