If you use this refection please acknowledge hospice23, as well as the author, Rev Sue Martin.



Luke 4.16-30

‘And they rose up and put him out of the city’ (v. 29)

Jesus has been in the synagogue. After reading from the prophet Isaiah and saying ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’, Jesus is received with wonder. All spoke well of Jesus. They marvelled at his ‘gracious words’. But how quickly that acceptance and openness to his presence turns sour. For as soon as he becomes a challenge to their way of thinking and their way of being, ‘all in the synagogue were filled with wrath’. That is when they rise up, jostling him out of the city and seeking to throw him headlong over the side of the hill.

There may be ways in which we feel we have been put out of the city. Perhaps we feel rejected and badly treated by our employers; perhaps we feel the Church no longer wants to know us; perhaps people are losing patience with us, thinking by now we should be able to ‘pull ourselves together’; perhaps some over-zealous Christians consider our situation or illness self-inflicted or sinful; perhaps a doctor or nurse treats us like a lump of meat and humiliates us.

If once we had a presence that was accepted and we were spoken well of, the change to rejection of any sort is spiritually very raw. It is easy for our hearts to translate rejection by others as rejection by God. Jesus passes through the midst of those who put him out of the city. He invites us to do the same; to see the others as they are; to see their closed minds, how threatened they feel, their safety in numbers. And he wants us to pass safely through their midst at his side and journey on to the next place with him.

Lord Jesus, loving touch incarnate, Be my strength and example
In all times of rejection; Lead me through the hurt
To the place of belonging, And there let me find the freedom To be loved exactly as I am. 

Webpage icon Bartimaeus
Webpage icon Humiliation
Webpage icon Isolation
Webpage icon Levi
Webpage icon Trust