“No prophet is without honor except in his own country.”
Luke 4: 24
After Jesus revealed his mission to his neighbors in the synagogue at Nazareth, they were filled with wonder at his words. But, very quickly, that wonder turned to rage and they sought to get rid of him by pushing him off a cliff.
Why the change from wonder to rage?
First of all, they knew Jesus and had grown up with him. He was just an ordinary person. How did he get this way? Is he putting on airs?
But, more seriously, they are enraged because he challenges their narrow nationalism.
Jesus speaks of the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian, foreigners who were helped by the prophets Elias and Elisha.
Jesus challenges all closed views of the world, all types of nationalistic exceptionalism, for God is greater than our nation.
A nationalism that does not allow for recognition of sinfulness will not be able to hear the words of the Prince of Peace who breaks the barriers between peoples.
When we think we are God’s only Chosen People, we fail to see God working beyond our borders.
Jesus calls us to recognize the all-embracing love of God.
That’s why they wanted to get rid of him.