Daily Scripture Reading:
15Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him…
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, “…You will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon…
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke 4:15-30)
Jesus returns from the desert and heads to the region of his youth, teaching from town to town, being praised by everyone. One Sabbath, we meet up with him in Nazareth. This is his hometown synagogue. His childhood playmates are probably here in the crowd. His parents' friends and family walk in and sit down, curious to hear what Jesus, the carpenter's boy, has to say. Jesus reads a prophecy about the Messiah from the scroll of Isaiah. He declares it fulfilled and sits down. At this point, the people are struck dumb, amazed, but as soon as he makes a reference to non-Jews who God reached out to in the Old Testament, a mob mentality overtakes them. Dust starts flying as his very own playmates and family friends drive him outside of town and nearly throw him off a cliff. (It's like a scene from Lord of the Flies). Then Jesus turns around and walks straight through the raging crowd, as if God parted the sea of angry men.
In the span of a few sentences, Jesus's ratings went from "everyone praising him" to those who were closest to him nearly throwing him off a cliff. Thankfully, Jesus was not wrapped up in others' opinion of him. He looked to his Father for his worth. Do you ever ride the insecurity roller coaster? Instead, let's stand strong with Jesus and let those worries fall off as we look to our Father for our sense of value. He loves us, no matter what. He sees us. He knows us and loves us still. That anchor holds strong in any crisis.
Lord God, help us to look to you to find our worth. Please open our minds to understand how you think of us. Help us to rest in you as our Rock and sure foundation instead of in the ever-changing opinion of others.
What do you think God wants you to walk away with more than anything else today from your time in this scripture?
This post is an excerpt from my new book Along with Jesus: An Easter Devotional. Grab your copy here to journey along with Jesus in the book of Luke this Lenten season as we anticipate Easter Sunday!
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