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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Only Faith That Clings to God's Promise In the Midst of Suffering!

Luke 4:22-30 New International Version

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” 24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[a] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Thursday - January 27

Jesus is back in his hometown of Nazareth, which was quite small (smaller than Graymont and Cornell). These people KNEW him. They saw him grow up. Many English translations of verse 22 say that the congregation “spoke well of him,” but a literal translation would be “they witnessed to/against him.” This is far more ambiguous. English translations also say that the congregation “marveled” at him. But is this a positive or negative “marveling”? Maybe not! This is also ambiguous in the original Greek. Maybe they marveled at the arrogance of Jesus and spoke/witnessed against him? We cannot know for sure, but a more negative reaction would help explain what happened next! We also do not always like what Jesus has to say and or that death must come before resurrection. We want glory and power, not faith that clings to God’s promise in the midst of suffering.

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