Summary: Part 2 of 2, Jesus comes home after the wilderness - he is changes and the home town folks don’t like his message -- Do we?
Last week we started with the question Can we really go home again and I reminded you how Jesus ministry was just starting, he returns home after his time in the wilderness. He has been visiting synagogues for the past couple of months. Preaching and performing a few miracles on the way, especially in Capernaum.
I related it to the thought of the college grad returning home. The person is changed by their experiences while they were away. Jesus had the time on his own, Baptism, the Hoy Spirit and the wilderness experience and who knows what else.
He is dramatically changed, but until he gets to the synagogue he has probably acted pretty much as everyone expects.
I shared my thought that as long as you act like everyone expects, act like you always did you can always go home. That means following the same house rules, put your laundry in the hamper and show up for dinner on time.
When we finished last week, Jesus had finished reading scripture and sits to give his teaching on the meaning.
"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
I ended last Sunday with almost the same sudden stop as Jesus did in the synagogue that day. The scripture reading was part of Isaiah’s prediction of the coming of the messiah. Jesus’ lack of additional information, his failure to explain the normal connection to the messiah or other scripture was probably an uncomfortable moment because he was either at a loss of understanding or words or he was claiming that the messiah was on the scene… perhaps even making the claim about himself.
There is also the chance that this statement was just the opening to his words that day. That he preached for a long while. That they were impressed with the explanation of Isaiah, and he may have even clearly stated that the scripture was a reference to himself.
The initial reaction is like going to a piano recital or to a school play. Everyone is complementary. “ Wasn’t that nice.” Perhaps there are even adult situations, you go to hear a lecture or see a movie with other people and you did not like it but they seem to love it. They are your friends or family so you say one thing and perhaps think another.
I am very grateful that I can’t hear other people’s thoughts. Perhaps I am even more grateful that other people don’t hear mine. I believe that most of us will think something that we would never say out loud. Sometimes we don’t even really believe what we are thinking, just questions or doubts that might offend someone or be rude.
So according to our scripture the outward response to Jesus is favorable. Even the Question - “Isn’t hat Joseph’s son?” can be positive.
Perhaps it is the tone of voice or inflection that we don’t have today. Isn’t that Joseph’s Son? The carpenter, a common workman…. A few years ago this man was a helper working on my cart or house. We have known him all his life. Is he claiming to fulfill scripture, to be a prophet,, Messiah???
We can only guess at what the thoughts were, Good or bad. Some may have seen a value in his message exactly because of his apparent abilities.
Maybe the biggest unspoken thing was the request for a miracle. No one ask, but Jesus dialog hints at several potential ideas.
23Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ’Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ "
That seems like a really harsh response unless something was said or whispered or being thought and Jesus could tell.
Last week we heard that Jesus had taught and been received well in other places. That the people were telling about miraculous things and great teaching. Now he is home and something is different. Something or someone sets him off.
He is doing something unexpected and has challenged the hometown folks. They have to make a decision, perhaps the same decision that for the past several weeks strangers in the other places have already made. There is no room to sit on the fence. You are on one side or the other. Do you believe his teaching or not. Jesus seems to have the ability to be able to tell and know the overall score in the synagogue.
The proverb “Physician Heal thyself” is interpreted to be a reference to take care of yourself and your family. And the it seems to be a reference to the stories or rumors that have been spread around. Perhaps people have already been asking for a little proof of what they heard or maybe they are just thinking. Prove it…Show us a miracle – heal someone or me.. Prove it.