“When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.” vs. 28
At first glance the response of Jesus’ hometown congregation seems out of proportion to what had been said. It almost appears that we’re only getting fragments of the conversation…and that could be the case. The gospels are frequently pretty sketchy and at best we’re getting a brief summary of all that Jesus did and said. But it’s also true that the folks in Nazareth aren’t that much unlike people that we’re acquainted with. They’d been disrespected! They thought Jesus was putting them down. Oh how quick we are to respond with anger when it appears someone isn’t giving us the respect we think we have due. We regularly hear stories about sports figures who provoke fights because someone “dissed” them. There are many people who are sensitive about their reputations and don’t like it when it appears they’re being insulted. And thin skins aren’t found only on streets and playgrounds…we’ve seen such folks in all of our congregations. They carry chips on their shoulders and their anger can flare up quickly in response to perceived insults. It’s not that anger isn’t an appropriate response to real injustice, but so often it’s rooted in plain old pettiness. And sometimes those flashes of anger lead to painful confrontation and pointless division. We’d all be better off swallowing our pride and putting the best construction on what others say or do.
Thought for the Day: What do I do when I’m disrespected?