1.Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith(Mk6:1-6). Taken from today’s Sunday gospel.
2.Luke presents Jesus preaching at Nazareth as his first official outing after his baptism and temptations in the desert. The people were initially filled with admiration for the gracious words coming from his lips and great signs that he was performing. But realizing that he was a man from the fringe of the society, a simple carpenter, they moved from admiration to scorn. They reminded him of his lowly family background.
3.Jesus was not deterred by their insult. He knew why he came to the world. He came as an ordinary person so that the ordinary people can imitate his extraordinary attitudes. His people were getting it wrong. They missed the mark because right before them was standing the God whom they sought in extraordinary manifestations. He addressed them as a prophet telling them that a prophet is to be respected for the work he does not for his social status. He reminded them that they were wrong. He was shocked by their lack of faith.
4.The people of Nazareth seem to be ignorant of the fact that God can use anybody to pass his message. He once made an animal speak to a wordly prophet (Numbers 22:28). If they had known, they would have joined force with the simple preacher and learn to be like him. The tragedy of religion in the contemporary society is that people go far and wide searching for God while God is there before them without their noticing him. When Fredrick Nietzsche, the German philosopher proclaimed the death of God people branded him atheist. But was he not saying the truth. He said that”God is dead, we have killed him.” If we have not killed God in our life how is it difficult for people to recognize God in one another? Why was it difficult for the people Nazareth to recognize God in the simplicity of the carpenter who lives a godly life?
5.Jesus could not perform many miracles in his home town because they despised him for his humble beginning. They preferred to look away from whom he has become and held on to whom he was. We all have our past, our humble beginnings. But in the hands of God we are wired for greatness independently of how we began. Jesus stands as a symbol for all who want to go beyond their status at birth. The scornful comments of the Nazarenes did not stop Jesus from moving forward. He moved on because he has set a clear goal for himself. Jesus did not just listen to their insult. He confronted them, teaching them the truth even when they refused to listen. The dog barks but the caravan moves on. The barking of the dog can do nothing to the caravan. Those who want to be more useful to the kingdom should not be disturbed be the criticism of the chicken hearted fellows. Jesus is our model.
6.You always have two options before you when it comes to the things of the kingdom: to be hot or cold. You either join the critics or the actors. The place of the actor is the stage, that of the critics is in the audience. Where are in the kingdom? Stage or audience? What role are you playing in your faith community? Do you just come and go or are you engaged in doing something. You can always be more useful for the kingdom if you want. Stand up and be counted.
Peace and security upon you.