The first reaction is very positive. “They were astonished at the gracious words that came from his lips”.
But soon the grumbling starts. “Is not this the local boy, Joseph’s son?” “Physician, heal yourself.” They have heard about the miracles in Capernaum. They are looking for action. The tension starts.
Jesus is happy to confront them. They become so angry they are prepared to murder him.
Jesus quotes two well-known miracles from the Hebrew Scriptures. The healing of the woman from Zarephath, a Sidonian town and Naaman, the Syrian leper in the time of Elisha. These miracles show God blessing gentile people through the Prophets Elijah and Elisha. “When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged”. “They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of town.” They wanted to kill him.
We see Jesus in this scene quite happy to confront his townies with arguments from Scripture. He is happy to provoke them. He is implying that his mission is to the whole world. He foretells that his ministry will provoke people to murder him. His escape foreshadows the journey to Jerusalem.
In the Gospel of Luke this event is setting the theme for all of the Gospel. In the beginning there is approval and then hostility. This theme will continue in the Gospel until the climax of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I include the two references for the Biblical stories mentioned by Jesus. They are well worth a read. Naaman is one of my favourite people!
1 Kings 17.7 2 Kings 5 .14