Monday, July 27, 2015

The Cost of Proclaiming the Gospel

A reminder that Jesus and his gospel are offensive even to many religious people:

filled with the power of the Spirit,
returned to Galilee,
and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.

He began to teach
in their synagogues
and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth,
where he had been brought up,
he went to the synagogue
on the sabbath day,
as was his custom.
He stood up to read,
and the scroll of
the prophet Isaiah
was given to him.
He unrolled the scroll
and found the place
where it was written:
'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.'
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.
The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
Then he began to say to them,
'Today, in your hearing, this scripture is fulfilled.'

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words
that came from his mouth.
They said, 'Is not this Joseph's son?'

He said to them,
'Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb:
Doctor, cure yourself!
And you will say,
Do here also in your hometown
the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum

And he said, 'Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown.
But the truth is,
there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah,
when the heaven was shut up three years and six months,
and there was a severe famine over all the land;
yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.
There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha,
and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.'

When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.
They got up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built,
so that they might hurl him off the cliff.
But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way."
- Luke 4:14-30 (NRSV, adapt)

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