In today’s Gospel, we read about Jesus being rejected in His hometown. The reaction of the people in Nazareth is what we often see today. Those who have their lives transformed by the power of Christ are spurned or rejected by people who knew them before. Take an example of the juvenile delinquent saved by God’s grace, who has now become a minister of some kind, returning to his or her high school reunion. The teacher, principal, and former peers will in most cases be skeptical. “Can that really be Pete who used to skip class and get into so much trouble?! Surely there is something amiss. I know them and their character.” People can be cynical. They often don’t think real change is possible. They don’t think that a person from their midst can become any more than they thought could be. Their imaginations are blown away, and they revert to tearing down.
Rejecting the possibility of life-transforming change is to reject the possibility of God acting in the world. Even thumbing our noses at the subtle change in the character of a person is to presume on the grace of God. Jesus’ hometown crowd did not want to believe their eyes and ears. A bold, Kingdom proclaiming, wonder-working Jesus was not who they thought He would be. They wanted to keep Him as they had rendered Him in their own minds. God had other plans. And He does for us as well. Let us not be discouraged when others are skeptical of our testimony or the transformational power of the Good News.