Jesus is above all things a teller of the truth. Brutally honest truth. Sometimes we don’t want to hear it. In today’s gospel passage from Luke, Jesus gives the people of Nazareth a sobering message.
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
The message is clear. We must believe in him to be saved. In fact, that is the only way we can be saved, there is no other way. The fact that we are members of the church is not enough. Just because Jesus is a familiar figure to us does not mean that we have the faith that leads to eternal life. Our hearts have to be opened to him.