Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Pastor'sSummary of Luke 4:21-30

At Nazareth, Jesus attends the synagogue service on the sabbath. He has just read some verses from Isaiah. He now tells worshippers that he fulfils them: he is the expected messiah; he will rescue all those who are in need; God's promises made to Israel are "fulfilled" in the new age. All are "amazed" (v. 22), they keep wondering: at Jesus' words of grace, of God's freely given gift of love. an Old Testament usage suggests the "words" are the word of God. Isn't this the person we have known since he was a child? In v. 23, as often in Luke, Jesus takes the offensive: people want him to perform miraculous deeds to satisfy their curiosity, and for their benefit. In vv. 35-37, Jesus reminds them of instances where God has helped foreigners (both women and men) rather than Israelites. (Ref. I Kings 17-18). The people are "filled with rage" (v. 28) because they begin to realize that Jesus is for others as well as for them. Nazareth, being on a hillside, has steep slopes down which a person might fall to his death. Jesus escapes the lynch mob: they let him go because they think he might just be the messiah. He continues his mission in accord with God's plan.