“He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”. . .All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:21,28-30 (NIV)
Being actively disliked isn’t usually a way of life we seek. In fact, my particular personality type bends over backward to be liked. I hate leaving relationships in limbo or causing disturbed waters with others. Sometimes, I have trouble keeping realistic expectations for myself, putting too much on my plate, in order to win the love of others.
So, this story is hard to understand. Why do the people dislike Jesus? Why does he seem to provoke their hatred on purpose? What good can come from that?
While this scripture may be tricky to comprehend, it is clear that Jesus wasn’t too concerned about others’ expectations, reasonable or otherwise. He is clear on His call and the urgency of the work ahead. Throughout the gospels Jesus reaches out to others in creative and unexpected ways to bring healing and hope to the people around Him.
God, As we travel through this life grant us the wisdom to quiet the critics in our head and instead listen to the certain hush of love and acceptance that You speak to us. Give us courage to step out from under the expectations of others and extend that same grace to those around us. AMEN
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