Jesus’ homecoming in Nazareth had a rather hostile ending. We might remember that he was first greeted as a celebrity, as this hometown boy who was getting rave reviews all around came home for a visit. But, as he read aloud in the synagogue from the prophet Isaiah, and talked about God’s love for everyone, thing got a little testy.
In telling this story in the Spark Story Bible for children, the editors pick up the dialogue with the crowd:
‘Why are you talking about sick people and poor people and people in prison? Everybody knows that God doesn’t care about them,’ they said.
‘I am here to show you that God’s way is love for all people!’ Jesus said.
The people began to grumble. Their grumbling grew to shouting. Their shouting turned to shoving. Their shoving turned to chasing Jesus out of the synagogue. ‘Go away Jesus!’ Jesus went away from there, but kept on telling people and showing people about God’s love.
Is the message of Jesus as simple as the story of God’s love? It may well be.
God, let me focus on the love You have shown me in Jesus, as I look out at a world where love is so badly needed. Help me to live in that love as I walk each day as a follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.