Faith Daily | 21 March 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 486
Lord God, our Redeemer,
who heard the cry of your people
and sent your servant Moses to lead them out of slavery:
free us from the tyranny of sin and death
and, by the leading of your Spirit,
bring us to our promised land;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 4: 23-30
23He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’24And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers* in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him 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. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Graeme Curnow
Jesus had apparently done miracles in Capernaum and people in His home town expected Him to prove the claims He made in the Synagogue after He read from the scroll of Isaiah.
They demanded miracles at Nazareth too.
Nazareth may not have had much of a reputation. When Philip told Nathan “We have found the Messiah” Nathaniel responded saying “Can anything good come out of Nazareth”? (Ref: John 1, 43-46)
Perhaps His fellow Nazarenes thought “Jesus is a Nazareth man, he is duty bound to show his power here among us”.
The Nazarenes wanted special favours from Jesus, their hometown boy but Jesus pointed out that patronage does not matter to God and even Gentiles are loved as God’s children.
He used the examples of God’s work among Gentiles in the days of the respected prophets Elijah and Elisha. ( A laydown misère, if you like.)
People we may consider unworthy or undeserving are often recipients of God’s blessings. God’s miraculous power operates in unexpected and sovereign ways.
Jesus did not need the approval of His audience to measure His success. His main aim was not to please them. We churchgoers might reflect that the primary aim of our Priests is NOT to please us!
However, driving Jesus out of town to a cliff top was quite an angry response to a sermon! ( I’ve read that pushing a person off a small cliff was often the first step in the stoning process.)
Jesus escaping the malevolent mob by passing through it without being harmed was, never-the-less, a miracle.
The fact that the people did not receive Jesus had nothing to do with Him, but everything to do with them. Jesus was truly sent to Nazareth from God!
FINAL PRAYER: David Adam “Clouds and Glory”
Spirit, in our weakness be our strength.
We do not know how to pray as we ought.
As we love you, work in us that which is good;
make us the people you want us to be.
Guide us to do what you would have us do.
We pray for all who are seeking to grow in the faith,
for all seekers, and enquirers.
Lord, your will be done,
your kingdom come in us.