Jesus’ sermon in the synagogue
Gospel of Luke (Luke 4: 16-30)
All the Gospels synoptically narrate the episode that occurred inside the synagogue of Nazareth. However, while for Mark and Matthew the fact occurred in an advanced phase of Jesus’ mission (Matthew 13,53-58; Mark 6:1-6), Luke inserts the episode at the beginning of his evangelical mission, straight after return from the desert for forty days (Luke 4:1-13).
The third gospel awards great importance to the story (Luke 4:16-30). In this passage, after having proclaimed the messianic prophecy of chapter 61 of Isaiah, he also presents its realisation, alluding implicitly to himself: "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21). However, Jesus’ proposal is not understood by his fellow citizens who try to cast him out (Luke 4:28-30).
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?" they asked.
Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ "
"Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosyg in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian."
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Return of the Holy Family to Galilee