The Ministry of Jesus Christ – Anger of the Nazarenes

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But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away. – Luke 4:25-30 (RSVCE)

The Nazarenes, on hearing the words of Jesus, and understanding that He intimated to them that as Elias and Eliseus treated the Jews, so He would treat them, were filled with fury; and seizing Jesus, dragged Him to the edge of a precipice to cast Him down. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.

What was it that filled the Nazarenes with such fury on hearing the words of Jesus? It was that He gave them to understand that His mercy was not to be bestowed on them or on the Jewish nation. Strangers whom they detested and despised were to be the chief objects of His love. The Son of the carpenter actually declined to make His own city the scene of these wonderful gifts of which He spoke. “Who was this insolent upstart? Were they to suffer His insolence?” Vehement indignation is always a thing to be suspected in fallible man. It is generally a cloak for wounded self-love.

These Nazarenes were moved by their pride and hatred of the truth to a crime the guilt of which can scarcely be overstated. They had no excuse. Jesus had dwelt among them for thirty years. They had seen His gentleness, modesty, charity, sweetness. They had heard his words of grace. Yet they rejected and hated Him, and were at heart His murderers. All through pride! He had slighted their dignity. What a lesson for us!

Jesus’ hour was not yet come, and the maddened crowd of His enemies suddenly missed Him. He had vanished, none knew how. God will protect His own until their work is done. No one really dies before his time.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ. “Anger of the Nazarenes”. The Ministry of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations on the Public Life of Our Lord, 1892. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2019. Web. 4 August 2021. <>