Lenten Devotion: The First Rejection

…And they rose up and drove Him out of town and brought Him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw Him down the cliff. (Luke 4:29)

Read Luke 4:14-30

Having defeated Satan’s temptations Jesus then travels from village to village in Galilee, sharing God’s plan of salvation and working many wondrous miracles. Months later He returns to His hometown Nazareth. Entering the synagogue Jesus reads from Isaiah, the Old Testament book that most clearly talks about His work as the Messiah. He tells His neighbors of the forgiveness, peace and freedom He has come to bring.

At first they are amazed by His gracious words; then they remember all the years He lived among them, and how they had never seen anything remarkable about Joseph’s Son before. Having heard about His miracles in the neighboring towns, they want Him to heal them too.

Jesus wants to help them, but He will not reward their unbelief. He reminds them how in the past God withheld healing miracles from Israel, when His people refused to believe.

Filled with fury they rise as an angry mob to drive Him to the cliff to throw Him to His death. In one blind moment they foreshadow the rejection and violent death He will suffer at His own people’s hands. But God has chosen a different time, and a different place.

Jesus gives them one last miracle to consider. They have Him firmly in their grasp, ready to fling Him off the cliff, but then Jesus suddenly turns and calmly goes His way through their midst-never to return. He leaves this final warning to His neighbors: if they stubbornly refuse to repent, they will have to stand before Him on Judgment Day.

THE PRAYER: Almighty God, today Jesus comes to me offering to forgive, restore and save me. Give me faith to trust Him, so I may escape Your wrath and live in Your loving, glorious presence forever. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.

 

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