The Rejection at Nazareth
Sometimes in the past, I read in the newspaper of a lady who visited her brother in a certain village but was suspected of having the dreaded disease called SARS by the residents of the place. All because she was complaining of dizziness and was coughing. What did the residents do? They had her out of their village in no time at all.
Well anyway, rejections criticisms are often made by people who are very familiar to us like: one of the members of our family, a relative, or neighbor we rub shoulders with on a regular basis. Jesus is not exempted. Like the woman who was suspected of having SARS, Jesus, when He returned to His home town not simply as the carpenter’s son but now as a rabbi with disciples, He faced the same fate. His experience is worse. He is not carrying SARS but all He wants to do is to spread the good news. In fact, He is not spreading any kind of disease but healing people of their diseases.
In other words, His town mates are strongly biased towards him. And the reason is, they know that His father is a carpenter, His mother, His relatives and they know Jesus too.
All of us know that each week during Sabbath it is customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue to attend the synagogue service. And when it is His turn to read the Scriptures, His hometown folks listen very carefully on this occasion because they have heard about the miracles He has performed in other towns. Jesus startles them with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honor among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at him and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a workingman, a carpenter, a mere layman and they despise Him because of His family. How familiarity can breed mistaken contempt.
Yes, Jesus is like us in all things. But Jesus is sinless and we are sinful. There is something in Him that His town mates and we too fail to see and understand and what are these?
First is purity of heart. Only when, our hearts are pure that we can go beyond the ordinary circumstances of our lives and see God. Bishop Soc Villegas in his, Only Jesus Always Jesus (p. 204), said that only the pure of heart can see the work of God in the flower, in the street children, in the simplicity, in the ordinariness, in the routine of day-to-day of life.
And the other one, Jesus is so trustful to God the Father. One way of expressing it is through prayer. Our prayers are often not answered by God because there is lack of faith and trust. If we really pray with faith, trust, confidence in God, our prayers will be answered, I’m sure but not the exact way we expect. But if we truly pray with faith and trust we have no trouble seeing how faithfully on His part, God listens our prayers and works wonders in our lives.
How do we handle rejection by others especially by people whom we consider as friends? And let us reflect these words from St. Paul: “Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good,” (Rom 12:21).
OPTION 01, 02, 03,