Our gospel reading for this morning picks right up where we left off last Sunday. If you remember, last week, we saw Jesus just beginning his ministry in Galilee and making his public debut in his hometown, Nazareth. We heard the very first words that Jesus speaks as an adult in the gospel of Luke – and he reads these words from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
And at the beginning of our gospel text for today, we hear him say again, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” That’s a pretty bold claim! Like we talked about last Sunday, Jesus is laying out the scope of his mission: he has come to bring good news to the poor, to liberate captives and the oppressed, to give sight to the blind, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. And the people are all for it – Luke says that “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth”
But then this story takes a really unexpected twist. Jesus predicts that the people will reject him and what he has to say. And sure enough, by the end of this story, he manages to make them so angry that they actually grab him and try to throw him off a cliff! What happened??