oak leaves

Luke 4 v 28. “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.”

Things turned ugly that day in Nazareth. The people were furious with Jesus and tried to throw him off a cliff. Why?

Well, the people did not understand Jesus. Or at least if they did it produced great hostility against Jesus. Here were people who thought they were rich in terms of God, but displayed their poverty by rejecting Jesus. They were blind, but they thought they could see and understand. They were enslaved by their own religious practises and traditions but thought they were free. Hence our Lord’s comments in Matthew 11 v 28. They rejected the “Year of the Lord’s favour.”

These people were the very ones Jesus came to redeem but when they realised he was talking about them they revealed the hardness of their hearts. They were indeed blind and thus rejected the acceptance that would have been theirs had they responded positively.

How proud the human heart is, how full of its own righteousness.

But now let’s remember that this is an account written by Luke, about what happened when Jesus read his manifesto. Can Luke’s word be trusted? The answer is yes, because Luke tells us how seriously and carefully he investigated all he has heard. And the very fact that he introduces his story by telling us about the appearance of angels to shepherds to herald the birth of the Saviour, lends credence to his account. In those days shepherds were not regarded very highly at all and if important news was to be given it would hardly be given by people like Shepherds. Most of us want important news to come from a credible source. But this only goes to show that Luke’s story is not an invented tale. Luke tells it like it is. We can depend on the truthfulness of his gospel.

And the great and glorious truth of the Gospel message is that Jesus came to declare God’s favour and acceptance of sinners like us and all of us should be full of gratitude.