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Amazed at His Gracious Words

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Dearly loved people of God,
Yesterday was the feast of Epiphany. It’s a celebration of Jesus’ revelation to all nations. I mentioned in the daily readings that the traditional passages for this date on the church calendar are baptism, first miracle, and the Magi. Instead, we’re using Jesus’ visit to his home synagogue.
Instead, we’re using Jesus’ visit to his home synagogue. I can tell you from experience, it’s a challenge to preach before a home crowd. They are fiercely possessive and protective because you’re one of them. Yet can also be fiercely critical. “I’m telling you the truth for your own good.”
I can tell you from experience, it’s a challenge to preach before the congregation where you grew up. They are fiercely possessive and protective because you’re one of them. Yet can also be fiercely critical because you’re one of them. “I’m telling you the truth for your own good.” “As you’ll recall from the days when you were in my catechism class . . .”
It’s a reminder of Jesus’ humanity. It was hard for anyone to be really impressed by him. After all, some of his mother’s friends remember changing his swaddling cloths.
Yet they also wanted him to prove himself. “Do here what you did in Capernaum!” Show us what you’ve got. There’s not a long way between “Physician, heal yourself” and , “He saved others, but cannot save himself.”
What’s at the heart of this conflict between Jesus and the hometown crowd?
Gracious words
examples of Gentiles
Congregation on transition to being on mission with Jesus. This passage includes the radical notion that Jesus’ gracious words aren’t just polite, reverent, and well spoken. Jesus’ words might really have been full of God’s grace.
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