You…Go in My Name!
Poor Jesus has been running into one rejection after another. Earlier we heard that He was challenged by the question: “Who then is this?’ This was a direct attack on his credibility as a preacher, Rabbi, and miracle worker. He was downright rejected by friends, family and opposers. In today’s gospel-lesson, the question is raised about the source of His knowledge and power. The assembled synagogue crowd asks: “Where did this man get all of this? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands?” Jesus, the hometown boy, is dismissed by those who knew him, but really didn’t know Him. They are questioning ‘one of their own’ in disbelief and astonishment. How sad! They just couldn’t fathom that he could do such marvelous deeds, speak so eloquently in God’s name, because He grew up in their neighborhood.
That reaction must have been a terrible thing for Jesus to hear. Earlier we heard that the crowds were amazed at what He was doing. Now, its Jesus’ turn to be astonished, finding their lack of faith, but knowing that it will not stop Him or His mission. Soon we will hear that Jesus will send forth 12 of His followers to bring His message far and wide. These men will be given the same powers that He exercised. He tells them that as He was tested, so will they! As He was rejected, that they should expect the same kind of treatment. As He was mocked and disbelieved, that they might encounter such push back. Basically, He is telling them that no matter what they encounter…Gods work will prevail. Musician and composer, Leonard Bernstein wrote a score called: “The Word of the Lord.” In this composition he reminds his listeners that Gods message will not be “imprisoned,” “rebutted,” “scuttled,” “demolished,” or “abolished.” He concludes, hopefully: “It’s been tough, and yet it seems to be growing… and we wait for the season of The Word of the Lord.” It’s success, the planting of the Kingdom, depends now on us. Like the 12, we are sent forth to continue His mission and ministry…despite any obstacle or person to the contrary.
Let’s go forth in His name