Weekly Reflections for January 30, 2022

The Rejection of Jesus

By Chris Brooks

In today’s Gospel reading (Lk 4:21-30), we recount Jesus’ rejection in His hometown of Nazareth. Speaking at the local synagogue, Jesus initially impressed listeners with His graceful style. But after talking about the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and comparing Himself to prophets Elijah and Elisha, the crowd began to question His authority.

At the time, Jews across the land were preparing to celebrate a Jubilee, which occurred every 50 years. During this time, debts were forgiven, slaves freed, and ancestral property returned to the rightful owners. In this light, Jesus declares a year acceptable to the Lord, signifying His coming to release people from the bondage of sin.

Most of His Jewish contemporaries believed that the Messiah would come to defeat their enemies, including the Roman occupiers in Israel, to gain national independence. These people expected someone like King David, a warrior king, not a humble teacher from the countryside Who prepared to sacrifice Himself for the entire world. In these terms, they were not ready to hear about liberation from sin. They were thinking of politics and war. And so, they tried to throw Our Lord out of town.

Let this passage remind us of God’s love for all, and His will for us. Whereas some may expect God to deliver them victory at work, in sports, or at the polls, Jesus shows another way. His way is not one of power, influence, or ego. It is of honesty, humility, and selfless love. This is what the good people of the world have been waiting for since time immemorial. And this is what God has brought us together to give. In the spirit of Christ, let us deliver!