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Sounds A Little Absurd?

He won the approval of all
Luke 4:21-30

Sermon Topic Absurdity

Sermon Week Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 4:22


The late Fritz Kreisler, the great violinist, was walking down the street one day with a friend and the two stopped to look in the window of a shop. A fine catch of fish, eyes staring, were on display, lined up in a neat row. Kreisler suddenly clutched his companion by the arm. "Woe is me," he exclaimed, "that reminds me that I'm supposed to be playing a concert!"

Luke's Gospel informs us that Jesus taught in the synagogues, including the synagogue in Nazareth, the town "where He had been brought up." It was there, Luke tells us, that all eyes in the synagogue were staring at Him. Why? Because, as we learn in today's Gospel Lesson, "He won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips" (Lk 4:22). They liked what they were hearing. It was nice to hear Jesus say:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to Me, for he has anointed Me. He has sent Me to bring the Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord's year of favor (Lk. 4:18).

It was all cozy and nice, until Jesus made it clear to His listeners that these words of hope and liberation were meant not just for them, not just a "chosen" few, but for all persons everywhere. Jesus' listeners lived in expectation of finding that one good Man -- the Messiah, the Anointed One -- who would liberate them from bondage. But they had constructed their own model of what He would be like, and the kind of example and leadership He would provide. Consequently, as Jesus continued to talk, they realized that He was trying to break down their preconceived notions of the model Messiah. And they stopped praising Him. Moreover, in Luke's words, "They sprang to their feet and hustled Him out of town; and they took Him to a brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw Him down the [...]

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