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Tag Archives: JESUS WAS REJECTED IN NAZARETH

LUKE 4:29-30 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 4:24-30)

Jakarta, 21 March 2022

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 4:28-30 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30)

Jakarta, 30 January 2022

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JESUS WANTS TO TEACH US HOW TO BECOME PROPHETS AFTER HIS EXAMPLE

JESUS WANTS TO TEACH US HOW TO BECOME PROPHETS AFTER HIS EXAMPLE

(A biblical reflection on the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Year C], 30 January 2022)

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30 

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19; Psalms: Psalm 71:1-6,15-17; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 12:31-13:13 

The Scripture Text

And He began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of Him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in you own country.’” And He said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them He went away. (Luke 4:21-30 RSV)

When you think of a biblical prophet, do you imagine a rather thin, ascetic-looking man who speaks angrily against the sins and evils of his day? In fact, three of the prophets mentioned in today’s readings – Jeremiah, Elijah, and Elisha – might well have fit that description. But what about Jesus?

In this today’s Gospel, Jesus identified Himself as a prophet. However, the image that Jesus gave throughout His ministry would probably be better summed up by today’s second reading, which is all about Christian love. In all His words to the people of Israel, Jesus consistently spoke with the kind of love Paul described in this passage: a love that is patient, kind, and selfless (see 1Corinthians 13:4). So even when He chastised His fellow Nazarenes for not accepting Him, He did it out of a loving concern and even anguish over their hardness of heart.

Think of how Jesus could have responded to His townsfolk’s hostility. He could have lashed out in anger. He could have denounced them as hypocrites. He even could have singled out one or two people He knew well and exposed all their faults and sins just to silence them. But He did not. Instead, He simply walked away and continued His preaching, hoping that some of them might finally accept Him.

Jesus wants to teach us how to become prophets after His example. He wants to show us how to deal with people in the compassion and humility of godly love. It is one thing to learn how to be bold – and Jesus certainly was that. But it is another thing to be able to join that boldness with both shrewdness and gentleness. And the only way that can happen is if we spend time with Jesus. In prayer, let His love melt your heart, even as His words prick your conscience. As you do, you will find yourself becoming just as prophetic as He was.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am awed at the depth of Your love, especially when I look at the shallowness of My love. Fill me, Lord Jesus, and teach me to bring Your word to everyone I meet. Amen.

Jakarta, 29 January 2022

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EXCEPT IN HIS NATIVE PLACE: 14th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR B] – Mark 6:1-6

Jakarta, 8 July 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2018 in MISCELLANY

 

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JESUS EXPERIENCED WHAT IT IS TO BE HURT AND REJECTED

JESUS EXPERIENCED WHAT IT IS TO BE HURT AND REJECTED

(A biblical refection on THE 14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [YEAR B] – 8 July 2018)

Gospel Reading: Mark 6:1-6 

First Reading: Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalms: Psalm 123:1-4; Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 

The Scripture Text

He went away from there and came to His own country; and His disciples followed Him. And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to Him? What mighty works are wrought by His hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among His own kin, and in his own house.” And He could do not mighty work there, except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief.

And He went about among the villages teaching. (Mark 6:1-6 RSV)

Because people did not have family names in Jesus’ day, there were three different ways one could distinguish two people who had the same name.

First of all, a common designation was where the person lived. Simon of Cyrene, Joseph of Arimathea, and Mary Magdala are good examples. A problem occurred, however, if the two people with the same name came from the same place. In that case, friends and acquaintances may have identified the person by occupation. Simon the fisherman, Joseph the carpenter, and Levi the tax collector are just a few examples. Modern last names such as Baker, Smith, and Cook originated in this way.

Finally, ancient people sometimes distinguished a person by who his father was. One of the apostles was James, the son of Zebedee, and another was James, the son of Alphaeus. This custom also found its way into different foreign languages and led to modern last names such Janowicz, which is Polish for “son of John”, and Fitzgerald, which is Irish for “son of Gerald”. Thus, those who knew Jesus called Him Jesus of Nazareth (where He grew up), Jesus of Capernaum (where He lived during His public ministry), Jesus the carpenter, Jesus the rabbi, or Jesus the son of Joseph. Any one of these names would have been appropriate.

Jesus left Nazareth as a simple carpenter but He returned as a famous rabbi with His own disciples. People throughout Palestine heard of His reputation and respected Him but the people in His home town gave Him a lukewarm reception.

In today’s Gospel, the people of Nazareth marvel at Jesus’ ability to preach and they ask one another if He isn’t the carpenter and the son of Mary. Notice that they do not call Jesus the son of Joseph. Either Joseph was already dead or they meant this as an insult. By not recognizing Joseph as the father of Jesus, they may have been implying He was an illegitimate child. In modern slang, they were calling Jesus a bastard. Therefore, Jesus homecoming was less than a big success.

It’s easy for us to remember that Jesus is God but difficult to think of Him as also human. Jesus did not walk around with a neon sign on His chest flashing the words “Worship Me, I’m God!” Jesus was just as human as we are, and He sometimes experienced what it is to be hurt and rejected.

The next time we feel down, let’s go to Jesus with our problems. He knows what we are going through because He went through the same thing Himself.

Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 184-185.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, come and be with me. Help me to listen to You more closely. Show me the ways I have boxed You in with My own ideas. Heal me with Your love so that I might serve You more fully. Amen. 

Jakarta, 6 July 2018 

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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THEIR EYES OF FAITH WERE CLOSED TO JESUS

THEIR EYES OF FAITH WERE CLOSED TO JESUS

(A biblical refection on THE 14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – July 5, 2015) 

Gospel Reading: Mark 6:1-6 

First Reading: Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalms: Psalm 123:1-4; Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 

YESUS DI SINAGOGA DI NAZARET - 4The Scripture Text

He went away from there and came to His own country; and His disciples followed Him. And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to Him? What mighty works are wrought by His hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among His own kin, and in his own house.” And He could do not mighty work there, except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief.

And He went about among the villages teaching. (Mark 6:1-6 RSV) 

The people of Nazareth, though touched by the words of Jesus, questioned where He had acquired the wisdom evident in His words: “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to Him? …… Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? (Mark 6:2,3). Their eyes of faith were closed to Jesus whose miracles and words reflected the work of the Messiah to come. His modest and compassionate manner did not fit their concept of and hopes for a Messiah who would free them from domination by foreign oppressors.

YESUS MENGUNJUNGI NAZARETJesus was rejected, as was Ezekiel, a prophet of God. Both were subjected to disbelief and persecution from an “impudent and stubborn” people (Ezekiel 2:4). They were all part of the people who had broken their covenant with God and, as a result, suffered the hardships of exile and captivity. Ezekiel’s message might fail to convince, but they would know that God had indeed spoken to them (Ezekiel 2:5).

In the coming of Jesus, God was revealing the depth of His love and compassion. Jesus, the Word of God, was calling humanity back to the love and tenderness of the Father. How sad that the people of Nazareth failed to recognize Jesus as the fulfilment of God’s words: “To you, O men, I call, and My cry is to the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:4).

Turning a deaf ear to God is as common today as it was during Jesus’ time on earth. Often our knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ mission as God’s incarnate Son among us is limited to what our minds can comprehend. We resist the challenge to go beyond the familiar and accept that God’s marvelous plan for our lives reaches far beyond our own meagre understanding. Perhaps because we are often content to know Jesus in a superficial manner we think we are dutiful enough. But this attitude keeps us from being open to the fullness of God’s divine life and love that He has planned from all eternity to share with us in Jesus (Ephesians 1:17-18).

God’s word to us in the liturgy and in our prayer and scripture reading is an invitation to surrender our lives more completely to His will. Let us set aside our preconceived ideas and the temporary concerns that lock us into a thinking centered on the here and now, and open our minds and hearts to the work God wants to do in us.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, come and be with me. Help me to listen to You more closely. Show me the ways I have boxed You in with My own ideas. Heal me with Your love so that I might serve You more fully. Amen. 

Jakarta, 3 July 2015 

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JESUS WAS REJECTED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE [LUKE 4:24-30]

JESUS WAS REJECTED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE [LUKE 4:24-30]

YESUS MENGUNJUNGI NAZARETJesus returned to His hometown to bring the good news that the words of Isaiah 61:1-4 had been fulfilled. God had sent the Messiah, the Spirit-bearer who would usher in a new age of freedom who would usher in a new age of freedom and divine favor. The Nazarenes were astonished by His wisdom and listened to Him with rapt attention. Everyone spoke well of Him until they began to reason: “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22). How quickly the scene changed from admiration to suspicion – and how quickly Jesus revealed what was hidden in their hearts!

Jesus compared Himself to two great prophets of ancient Israel, pointing out that they had served non-Israelites because their own people would not accept them. The implication was that He too was being rejected by His own people and that He must now take His message to outsiders. This prospect infuriated His listeners to the point of violence (Luke 4:24-29).

What is our reaction when things do not go as we expect them to? We know that God has our best interests at heart, yet circumstances sometimes arise that challenge our faith. Jesus came to reveal things hidden in darkness and to disclose the purposes of our hearts. He is intimately familiar with our fallen nature; He encountered it personally while He was with us. Filled with the mission of love from His Father, however, Jesus never removes His gaze from us and never stops working to heal us and make us whole.

When we are challenged, we can react as the Nazarenes did, or we can stand on the truths of our faith. The truth is that Jesus loves us and orders all things in our lives to teach us and prepare us for eternity with Him. In all He does, He seeks to raise our minds up to the things of God.

Jakarta, 24 March 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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