Take This Cup: February 24th

by ANDREW OWENS

Luke 4

I grew up in Fairfax County, about 20 minutes outside of Washington DC. It was all I knew from birth to age 19 when I left to start college in Fredericksburg. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, months to years. I would go back occasionally to see my old friends, grandparents, and spend time in my “hometown.” But then one trip “back home,” I started to realize that I wasn’t home; I had left home. My home was in Fredericksburg. 

We can sometimes hold as truths things that were once true but no longer. Just as our childhood towns and cities give way to the homes of adulthood and childhood best friends give way to the closely bonded relationships of adulthood, who we are needs to give way to the Will of God: who HE wants us to be. 

What I’ve always found fascinating about this passage of scripture is that those in Jesus’ hometown were ready to kill him. Presumably, these were friends, neighbors, acquaintances of his parents, all ready to throw him off a hill and kill him. I think it’s safe to say that at that point, in the world’s mind, Jesus was no longer a Nazarene. And perhaps the people in town did that on purpose: to show that Jesus was not one of them. 
In reality though, they were declaring Jesus to be no longer “one of them.” Jesus knew long before that he was not defined by his Nazareth-ness. His Judaism. His carpentry. Or any other human measure. He was defined by his position in relation to God, not anything that exists in or as a result of God’s creation. Question we must ask ourselves existentially, but minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day: What in my life is defining who I am?