Thursday after Epiphany
Jesus said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. Luke 4:21-22a
Jesus had just arrived in Nazareth, where He had grown up, and entered the Temple area to read the Scripture. He read the passage from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” After reading this, He sat down and proclaimed that this prophecy from Isaiah was fulfilled.
The reaction from the people of His town is interesting. They “all spoke highly of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth.” At least, this is the initial reaction. But if we read on we see that Jesus challenges the people and, as a result, they were filled with fury and tried to kill Him then and there.
Often times, we have the same reactions to Jesus. At first, we may speak well of Him and graciously receive Him. For example, at Christmas we may sing carols and celebrate His birthday with joy and festivities. We may go to church and wish people a merry Christmas. We may set up a manger scene and decorate with Christian symbols of our faith. But how deep is all of this? Sometimes Christmas celebrations and traditions are only superficial and do not reveal any true depth of Christian conviction or faith. What happens when this precious Christ-Child speaks words of truth and conviction? What happens when the Gospel calls us to repentance and conversion? What is our reaction to Christ in these moments?
As we continue the final week of our Christmas season, reflect, today, upon the fact that the little Child we honor at Christmas has grown up and now speaks words of truth to us. Reflect upon whether or not you are willing to honor Him not only as an infant, but also as the Prophet of all Truth. Are you willing to listen to His whole message and receive Him with joy? Are you willing to allow His words of Truth to penetrate your heart and transform your life?
Lord, I love You and desire that all You have spoken would penetrate my heart and draw me into all truth. Help me to accept You not only as a little child born in Bethlehem, but also as the great Prophet of Truth. May I never be offended by the words You speak, and may I always be open to Your prophetic role in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.