So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. (Luke 4:28-31)
They Thrust Jesus Out Of The City
The city of Nazareth was a place of insignificance bearing a reputation of obscurity by the words of Nathaniel who thought nothing good could come from such a city. For nearly twenty-five years the family of Joseph and Mary raised their children in a town filled with carpenters. Jesus grew up in Nazareth along with his half-brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas along with His half-sisters. For the people of this small Galilean town, the family of Joseph and Mary were model citizens who were not unlike the common people of the region who worked hard and scraped out a living in a harsh land. There was nothing unusual about the family of Jesus with the exception that He was a very bright and well-mannered young man. It was not unusual to see Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth reading from the text and discussing the Law with the teachers. At the age of thirty, the son of Nazareth began taking on the role of an itinerant teacher who quickly began to gather followers around Him. His fame began to spread through Israel with the authority of His teaching and something His fellow citizens of Nazareth had never seen before: miracles. Returning to His home, Jesus comes to Nazareth and as was His custom in the past, takes up the reading in the synagogue. After He closed the reading of the prophet Isaiah, Jesus declared to His fellow citizens that He was the fulfillment of the words of Isaiah. The people marveled at the gracious manner of the boy they knew as Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary. Jesus goes on to explain that He was the fulfillment of the text and that while they may have desired miracles to prove He was the Christ He would not because of the hardness of their hearts. Angered by the accusation against them, everyone in the synagogue grabbed Jesus and dragged Him out of the city to kill him. They pushed, shoved, kicked and thrust Him out of the city in their anger with the purpose of taking Him to the brow of the city to throw Him to His death. The manner of their taking Jesus was violent. There was no gentleness in their actions and no love in their hearts. They were filled with such anger and hatred they were guided by the mob mentality enraged by a blood thirst for death. As they approached the brow of the hill to cast Him down, Jesus passed through their midst and went His way. It was not His time to die and no man could take the life of Jesus before His hour.
Looking at the scene in the synagogue in the first moments when Jesus stands before the people and reads from Isaiah is a remarkable time of clarity. He speaks of the spirit of the Lord being upon Him to preach the gospel to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted. The prophet proclaims the Christ will proclaim liberty to the captives and recover the sight of the blind. He would set at liberty the oppressed and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. The carpenter’s son declares the prophecy is fulfilled but the hearts of the people of Nazareth could only see a man who was nothing more than a carpenter’s son. When Jesus rebukes their unbelief they immediately are enraged against Him. They do not shout at Him or shake their fists at him in derision. The people are so filled with hatred and contempt they decided as a mob to kill this man. What they did not know is that when they put their hands on Jesus and violently thrust Him out of the city, He had the power to call twelve-legions of angels to defend Him and destroy every soul in Nazareth. Jesus could have called down fire from heaven or commanded the earth to open up and swallow alive all those who manhandled Him. The Father watched as they brutally shoved His Son out of the city and He did nothing. Jesus Christ, Son of God did nothing until it was time. He released Himself from the grasp of the brutes that held him and walked through the midst of them and went His way to Capernaum. Thank God for the patience and love of Jesus to do nothing until His time.
There were a number of times in the short ministry of Jesus that people wanted to kill Him and they would not succeed until it was His hour. He was mistreated by many people on the road to the cross and yet He did nothing. The journey from the synagogue to the brow of the hill would take a little time and be filled with violence. Jesus did nothing. The people were so filled with hatred they could not see the love Jesus had for them. He grew up among them and they knew Him to be a man who never caused any troubles, problems, and disrespect to His fellow man. They had no cause to treat Jesus with anything but respect, honor, and concern but their hearts were filled with the wickedness of sin and they wanted to kill one of their own. When the gospel began to spread throughout the region of Galilee the unanswered question is how many of those who desired to thrust Jesus to His death on the brow of the hill overlooking Nazareth came to believe in the death of the man from Nazareth as the Christ. Would they be thankful the Son of God did nothing that day until His hour had come? They thrust Him out of the city but Jesus would wait until the day He was taken out of Jerusalem to die for all those in Nazareth. What a day of rejoicing that would be for those in Nazareth who believed that Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, the carpenter’s son, was, in fact, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God.