This was a very deliberate move by Jesus for several reasons:
He understood that His disciples needed to see where He had grown up, so that they could witness to this later on.
He also needed them to understand this uncomfortable lesson about the likelihood of rejection by those close to us when God calls us in to His ‘more’.
He would have had a natural hankering for home, and would have ardently desired to give to those He loved so deeply as much of what God had been filling Him with as possible.
We see in this passage of scripture that the inhabitants of Nazareth who knew Jesus in His hidden life, were very comfortable with that experience of Him.
They experienced levels of panic, shock and astonishment as this very different Jesus who came to them bearing divine wisdom and divine teaching, and miraculous 'dynamite' power.
In this coming of His to Nazareth, Jesus wanted to give them access to this side, to this experience of Him, as He had done for so many other villages in the surrounding area, but the beloved people of Nazareth were happy to settle for the lesser experience, and didn't want a bar, not one iota, of the greater experience of Him.
In fact it actually scandalised them; the word used in the Greek is ‘eskandalizonto’.
So they sadly missed out on all that Jesus wanted to give them through this coming, and they didn't have a clue just how humongously much they missed out on – because they were not open to the possibility of more.
Recently others have written and spoken about how often when we invite God in to our lives and into times of corporate prayer and worship that we tend to expect something like a tame kitten when as God He has full right to come in as a roaring wild lion and everything in between.
It is the difference between expecting the ‘O good and gentle Jesus’ and receiving the Almighty universal Emperor and majestic Conqueror of sin and death.
He is certainly both, but we definitely have a preference for the former and often too little experience of the latter – much like the inhabitants of Nazareth.
The thing is, if God is going to step in and change our world from the cesspit of malevolent evil to the garden of goodness where His will is done on earth as it is in heaven, then He is going to come as mighty Judge and Ruler.
Are we ready for this?
Are we open to the kind of coming of Jesus that the money changers in the Temple experienced?
Are we open to receive and accept the more that this Mighty All-powerful Jesus wants to give us?
It is possible that this coming of Jesus could be the one foretold in Revelation 20:1-6 that leads to a thousand years of peace, or a precursor to it.
May God grant us the grace to be ready and willing to welcome Him however He chooses to come, especially if that coming of Jesus doesn't match our expectations at all. Amen.
Obviously Mary, His mother, was ready and waiting for Jesus on His homecoming visit. May she help us prepare for His coming, and help us to welcome Him properly when that great moment comes. Amen.