22All spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ 23He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’ 24And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town.
“22All spoke well of Jesus”… until they didn’t.
It does not take long, only seven verses, before the mood has changed and those who “spoke well of Jesus” begin to speak with a different voice:
all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town. (Luke 4:28b, 29)
What can have happened between “all spoke well of him” and they “were filled with rage”? What can Jesus possibly have said or done that could create such a dramatic shift in peoples’ attitude? Whence this vicious animosity towards the embodiment of love and life?
Jesus’ offense was that he dared to tell the truth stating that,
no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town.
The synagogue worshipers in Jesus’ “home town” did not want to hear what he had to say. They were determined to avoid the truth he spoke.
They did everything in their power to silence the voice that spoke uncomfortable truth.
When I refuse to face the truth about my life, I inevitably resort to violence in an attempt to silence that voice I do not want to hear.
Lent is a season for truth-telling and truth-hearing. Lent encourages me to ask myself what voices of truth I do not want to hear. What are the truths I seek to avoid? What realities about the condition of my life are so uncomfortable I am unwilling to see them?
What strategies do I employ to silence that voice that seeks to speak truth in my life?
In John’s Gospel Jesus is reported to have said,
you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8: 32)
If I have truth, I will have freedom. If I am unwilling to see the truth about my life, there is no freedom. A life without truth is a life without freedom.