“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky: (1821 – 1881: was a Russian novelist, and author of “The Brothers Karamazov”)
Gospel Text: (LK 4:21-30)
Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say,
‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.
Jesus’ friends and family doubted that he could possibly be the fulfillment of scripture. Doubted that he could be the incarnation of the relationship that the Lord had spoken about in Jeremiah. How could Jesus, the boy they all knew, the man Jesus “…Joseph’s (the carpenter) son…” be the fulfillment of Isaiah? They may have thought: We know him. This is very doubtful. This is blasphemy. Luke goes on to speak of Hebrew scriptural events equally unbelievable, doubtful and unexplainable.
“...they were filled with fury. They rose up, drove him (Jesus) out of town…to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst…and went away.”
This is not the end of the story. We know that Jesus did not stay “away”. We know that Jesus returned again and again to those in doubt, those in pain, those hurting, to the seekers and the self-proclaimed unbelievers.
Today’s Good News: Jesus does not return. Jesus Is. The Lord never abandons. Never. The Lord is constant. This I know – I am worthy of the Lord’s love and mercy not in spite of who I am,
but because of who I am. How do I know? “the bible tells me so…” - Amen