Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 7 of Lent, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Today's Reading: Luke 4:31-44

There is a real difference in how Jesus is received in Capernaum and how he was received in Nazareth (see verses 16-30 in yesterday's reading).  In both instances, he is preaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  In Nazareth's scroll, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1-2 saying,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus is rejected at his hometown of Nazareth but is embraced at Capernaum.

Ruins at Capernaum
taken by Brett Wagner, Nov 8, 2008
As they embrace Jesus, he goes on to free a man of an unclean spirit and to heal Simon's mother-in-law (in Luke's gospel, this is before he calls Simon to be a disciple).  The word gets around and he begins to heal and exorcise many of the townspeople.

They called for these miracles at Nazareth but you get the sense that it is more out of the need for proof or validation rather than the faith that he could actually deliver on Isaiah's words.  Their cynicism led to their missing out on the blessings of God among them.

There are certainly days when we reject the teachings of Jesus in our own lives - sometimes willfully and sometimes through ignorance.  What are the blessings we've missed because of this?

Maybe today's passage will help us to redouble our efforts to faithfulness.

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