4th Sun C
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
When the good people of Nazareth set out to synagogue service on the Sabbath at which Jesus spoke on his return, who would have imagined that they would have turned into a murderous mob is a few short hours? Later that day, how would they have viewed their actions? Like the rest of humanity, they would have fished around for excuses: ‘he provoked us…’, ‘I was just watching…’, ‘it was that one’s fault, he stirred them up, he never liked Jesus…’. It would have been an honest and self-aware person to say, ‘I was carried away by a mob.’ We are. We don’t have to look at the genocides of the 20th century to see how easily people can be swayed. Why look what happened with Lindy Chamberlain and the ‘Children Overboard’ affair. And we can each think of our own personal examples of when we have been carried away…to our shame.
Above I asked, ‘who would have imagined?’ Jesus would have…and yes, he did provoke them. He provoked them to show them, and us, what he really has come to do. Not to perform miracles for the crowds, not even to give good advice for living happy lives. No, he came to help us face the evil that lies in every human heart. It has to be provoked out. When Jesus does this, we do not look pretty for a while. ‘The truth will set you free’…but first it will make you miserable. Shamed we may be for a while but Jesus will not humiliate us. Can you imagine what Jesus would have done if one of those villagers had come and apologised? What a welcome!