When he returns to Nazareth, Jesus is perceived as a prophet by his townsmen. The initial reaction of the people to his “sermon” in the synagogue is favorable. But when the people of Nazareth ask him to do in his native place what they have heard he was doing in Capernaum, asking him to care first for his own family and neighbors, Jesus tells them that as a prophet, his duty is not to benefit his own people, but to do God’s will for him. And the primary duty of the prophet is to call people to repentance. If the Lord has had mercy on “outsiders” as shown by the prophets Elijah and Elisha to the Gentiles, more is reserved for his people, but they first have to be open to the prophets’ call to conversion.
GOSPEL • LUKE 4:24-30
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “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. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.