Today, in part two of last week’s passage, we hear the crowd’s reactions to Jesus’s one-sentence homily on Isaiah’s proclamation: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” The amazement of Jesus’s hometown fans quickly turns sour when he makes it clear that no one gets any perks or privileges just because they know his family.
Jesus provokes his neighbors to fury when he reminds them that the prophets Elijah and Elisha ignored their own people in desperate times and, instead, showered God’s favor upon foreigners.In line with the prophets, Jesus’s primary concern is for those on the outside, marginalized by the borders we erect. Click To Tweet
In line with the prophets, Jesus’s primary concern is for those on the outside, marginalized by the borders we erect. This might seem like bad news for us who think of ourselves among Jesus’s inner circle. Shouldn’t God’s grace be ours as God’s own children? The good news is that it already is! Grace given to another does not reduce our own share of it.
However, the purpose of being counted among Jesus’s own is so that we might bring his healing, favor, and grace to those most in need—those whom the world has cast to the physical and existential peripheries of our concern. Prophets cannot be prophetic within the comfort of their homes and the safety of their neighborhoods. We, like them, must go beyond our circles to bring Jesus’s message where it is most needed.