2 Kings 5:1-15; Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4;Luke 4:24-30
When the people … heard this, they were all filled with fury. (Luke 4:28)
How is it possible that one minute this crowd is filled with admiration for Jesus, and the next they’re ready to kill him? Scholars think part of the answer may be that these events happened a little more slowly than told here. As you might expect, Jesus did get a great reception from the people of his hometown, but over a few days or weeks, many turned against him. There was something about him they didn’t like; he apparently wasn’t who they expected him to be.
It wasn’t that they didn’t know Jesus. They did. He had lived among them for years. But he seemed to have picked up an attitude. While they loved what he said about freeing the brokenhearted and oppressed, they weren’t so keen on his call to repentance. What did he mean by saying they needed to be poor in spirit like Naaman or the widow of Zarephath, both of whom weren’t even Jews? Such talk coming from the local carpenter’s son was just too much to bear.
Sometimes our response to Jesus can resemble this crowd’s response. We’re swept off our feet when we first experience his mercy and compassion. Then as we get closer to God, the Holy Spirit shows us areas of our lives that aren’t under his control. This may be hard to hear. Like the Nazarenes, we may be tempted to resist Jesus and even push him away. But becoming like Christ means humbling ourselves and letting the Lord smooth out our rough edges.
The best way to stay on the path of conversion is to remember why Jesus came in the first place: to “let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18). God wants what is best for us. He wants us to be free of all that binds us, free to be united with him and to know the joy and peace he intends for us. Getting to that place isn’t always pleasant, but it’s worth it. This Lent—this very day—can be a milestone in your walk with the Lord if you want it to be. Seek him, hear his word, and let yourself fall in love with Jesus again!
“Lord, I come to do your will. Fill me with your Spirit so that I can follow you with joy, whatever the cost.” ~wau