OCTOBER 2, 2017 Luke 4:14-30
MEDITATION: The shape of Jesus’ ministry comes into clear focus with this reading from Isaiah 61. Following the reading, Jesus tells the people he’s called to follow in the footsteps of Israel’s prophets, Elijah and Elisha. Commendable, on one level, but here’s the sore spot: Jesus tells them, that like the prophets he’s come to give God’s blessing away to outsiders. He brings home his point, reminding the people that God didn’t heal any lepers in Israel, but Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian! God didn’t feed anybody in Israel when there was a famine, but Elijah provided a lifetime’s supply of oil and flour to a Sidonian widow and her son. It’s bad enough when some jerk steals what is rightfully yours, but where does one turn for justice when it looks like God is orchestrating the heist? God’s blessing remained on Israel, but what was infuriating to the crowd was the notion that the doors to God’s promised blessing were opening wide for any who would receive it.
FOR DISCUSSION: What is it about human nature that compels us to resent the grace God extends to our enemies?
LINKS/OTHER RESOURCES: Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, Spiritual Formation Kit (Commentary on Luke by elder, Dan Frayer-Griggs)