A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: Our elderly parents who are fighting disease, discomfort, depression, hopelessness.
Scripture: Luke 4:14-30
Key verses: 28-29 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him [Jesus] out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff.
Reflection: That’s not the reaction we would expect at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But that’s just what he got.
Jesus started out with a message of good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight for the blind, and relief to the oppressed — all good things to include in your statement of strategic mission and purpose.
What got him into trouble was his critique of people who thought all they had to do was show up in the Temple on a regular basis to worship and tithe. Apparently, if you can believe it, there were religious people who, while attending worship and performing religious rituals, would neglect the needs of the poor. These religious people, it would seem, were somewhat inauthentic in that what they professed was not consistent with what they did. Jesus called them out for their hypocrisy and confronted them with the inconstancy of their unjust actions.
When you hold a mirror up to people they may not like what they see. When they heard how Jesus was confronting them, they became enraged and drove Jesus out of the synagogue and set out to kill him.
From good news to words worth killing for — that’s how Jesus started his ministry! That’s how toxic the gospel is. And that’s how much his message meant to him. It was worth dying for.
So, is Jesus only good for comfort or does Jesus need to confront us? I know what I’d like. I imagine what I need.
Prayer: Help us, good Lord, not only to hear and believe your good news but also to live it, in all our relationships, in all our encounters with others, in all that we do. We pray in the name of the one holding the mirror, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].