After the message on Jesus’ sermon at Nazareth in Luke 4 a young man approached me to ask why the response of the synagogue members was so violent. What had Jesus said that would cause them to want to throw him off the cliff?
- too much coffee?
- they were raving lunatics on the edge?
No, how about this
- They were already subject to domination by a foreign power, and Jesus said that sometimes God favored foreigners.
- Combined with a view that they were chosen as an end in itself, rather than a more faithful biblical idea that they were chosen to be blessed so that they could share the blessing.
Now try this mental exercize
- a preacher in the 1950s in a white church in Birmingham suggests that the bible supports racial equality or even marriage between people of different races.
- an editorial writer speaks to people assembled at a 9-11 memorial and suggests that we caused the bombings by our way of life.
- A Bears fan shows up in Bear colors at Lambeau field.
None of those are the same really, but they may suggest how otherwise reasonable people could become incensed.