Jesus continued to sit in his hometown synagogue on the Sabbath while those in the crowded worship space gazed at him. He’d finished reading Isaiah, but the hopeful words echo, if not in the room, then certainly in their hearts.
No one whispered. Not a cough. Several held their breath. All eyes remained wide open.
The synagogue thrummed with expectation.
“Today,” Jesus said, “this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
So far, the scripture he read has been safe. Isaiah’s call for the release of the captives and sight to the blind resonated with Jesus’ neighbors. As Jews with long memories, they had a history of captivity. Their ancestors wept by the waters of Babylon. As Jews of today, Rome’s empire oppressed them. They seethed about taxes and cowered when a Roman sword was drawn. But some day they’d be free. On some tomorrow all would clearly see, literally and figuratively. Not now, but soon.
But Jesus had more to say. His next words didn’t inspire once-upon-a-time dreams or somewhere-over-the-rainbow longings, but confronted the pettiness and arrogance of every soul in the stuffy synagogue. Continue reading →