February 2

Luke 4:21-23

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’” vs. 22

When Jesus returned to his hometown after his experience with the Spirit in the wilderness he was invited to speak in the synagogue. He was the “hometown boy made good” and people were proud of the reputation that had preceded him. Initially the response is positive and the people are actually amazed…they’re surprised that he speaks with such polish and grace. But then there’s a problem! Jesus is more than they could handle. His words seem presumptuous and disrespectful, and demand more of them than they’re willing to give. Their words turn nasty, “Just who does he think he is?” That’s how it is with Jesus. He’s more than he first appears. When we first come near him we hear the message of grace and are impressed. But there’s more to his story. He invites us to follow and then lets us know that this will involve discipline. In order to gain our lives we are going to have to lose them…and that likely has not been part of our gameplan. There’s a radicality to the mission that will involve sacrifice. For some people that’s enough and they start looking for another messiah, some other more palatable leader. Jesus does have a good reputation…many speak well of him. But there’s more to following him than meets the eye…and the foolish turn away!

Thought for the Day: Why are some people turned off by Jesus?

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