I am reading about Jesus preaching in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. His text was Isaiah 61:1-2 and how He was the fulfillment of the text. Immediately the men of the synagogue asked, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” It was at this point He called their attention to the Biblical fact that Israel never believed her own prophets and went on to relate how it was not uncommon for God’s prophets to go outside of Israel to do His work. He spoke of Naaman of Syria being healed of leprosy when there were many lepers in Israel. He told about sparing the widow of Zarephath during the 3 1/2 years of famine even though there were many hungry widows in Israel. Scripture reports:
When they heard these things [all in the synagogue] were filled with wrath.
And rose up and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.
But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way. (Luke 4:28-30)
This reminded me of another time when something quite similar had happened. Come with me over to John 8. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that He is the light of the world. Not believing Him to have any divinity, they immediately dispute His premise. Jesus says they do not accept His statements because they are not of the Father. They accuse Him of having a demon, and so on until finally in verse 59
They took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
I used to watch a show called Kung Fu when I was a young adult. I was reminded of a clip from one of the segments as I became aware of Jesus walking away from difficult situations. Some may say that His walking away was a sign of cowardice. The great master in the clip teaches that walking away is not cowardice. See what you think.
Having mastered the art of Kung Fu, a student is better able to use the strength of his body to defend himself and others than anyone he may encounter. If so, shouldn’t he always defend himself and others? The great master says, “No, that is why he needs discipline. So that he only uses his power in two situations: to save his own life or the lives of others. To fight with those who provoke a fight or who are incapable of doing real harm is not respecting the other–walk away from them. Jesus is all powerful. He could always win against any opponent. When they heckle or accuse or begin to make moves that he knows can’t really hurt him–he walks away. It is not His time yet. The All-Powerful decides. I sometimes wonder if He didn’t make Himself invisible in order to walk away in the midst of them. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ll share it with you another time.
Walking with Jesus, the Light of my life [John 8:12],