November 10, 2021
Passing Through the Midst of Anger
A few years ago I traveled to Israel with a group from our church. It was my first trip there and I was overwhelmed by seeing the actual places where Jesus walked and taught.
One of the most impactful places we visited was Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth. It’s a bustling modern city now — not the tiny village it was when Jesus lived there. In fact, looking at the streets and cars and buildings it was hard to imagine it as it was 2000 years ago. But there was one spot that was very much like the Nazareth of Jesus’ time — the “brow of the hill” mentioned in today’s reading.
In our passage, Jesus angers his hometown friends by pointing out that Gentiles were often more receptive to the prophets’ preaching than were the people of Israel. The townspeople were so angry, in fact, that 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” (v. 20, NIV).
As our travel group stood at the top of this tall cliff, overlooking a wide, expansive valley, it was easy to imagine how terrifying it must have been to be dragged out of the synagogue and shoved to the brink of this precipice. And yet, the scripture says, “he [Jesus] walked right through the crowd and went on his way” (v. 30).
How did he do that? How was he able to walk away from a murderous mob? Scripture doesn’t say so we are left to surmise. But perhaps it was because he remained calm and in control while those around him fell prey to their anger. Perhaps there’s a lesson there for our daily lives.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- How do you react when you are angry?
- Has your anger ever caused you to say or do something you later regretted?
- How can you be more like Jesus in these moments?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- When you get mad at a family member or friend, take a moment to slowly count to ten before you say or do something that later you will feel sorry for. See if this helps you not feel so mad anymore.
Loving Father, help us to cultivate a calm spirit that will keep us from hurting others when we are angry. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.