The Divine Escape Artist

There are some verse in Scripture, I think, that are intentionally ambiguous. These are little nuggets that are placed there, without too much explanation, that allow our sanctified imaginations to run freely and wonder exactly what that looked like. Think of a passage like Luke 4, where Jesus has come back to His home town of Nazareth.

At first, everything was going well. Jesus stood before a crowd of the townspeople, those that had seen Him grow, had hosted Him in their homes as a boy, had ate and drank and laughed with He and His family. He stood before those people and declared to them, without hesitation, that the prophecies regarding the Messiah had been fulfilled in their presence.

In Him. In Joseph’s boy from down the street.

And “they were all speaking well of Himand were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth” (Luke 4:22).

But then the day took a dramatic turn, for Jesus was not willing to simply accept the nods of approval and compliments of the community. Instead, He reminded them that though this prophecy was fulfilled in their presence, He was not the Messiah they were looking for. He, like Elijah and Elisha before him, was not only there for the deliverance of Israel, but as the Savior of the world.

Including those low down, dirty Gentiles.

And there were no head nods of approval at that:

“When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They got up, drove Him out of town, and brought Him to the edgeof the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl Him over the cliff” (Luke 4:28-29).

Then you get the verse of imagination.

Jesus is standing before a violent mob turned hostile by His refusal to tone down the truth. They are boiling with rage, bolstered by their superior numbers, and they are pushing Him closer and closer to the cliff. Closer and closer. One step at a time. The insults shooting from their mouths like daggers, they drove Him. Upward. And backward. And then, just as Jesus is about to take one step too many…

“He passed right through the crowd and went on His way” (Luke 4:30).

Did time freeze and Jesus alone retain His ability to move?

Did He use “the force” like some kind of Rabbi Yoda and push them off of Him?

Did He blind them do they were unable to see Him picking His way through them?

We don’t know. I have no idea. But it’s fun to think about, isn’t it? Here is the Son of God impervious to the lynch mob, simply continuing casually on His way. He’s the divine escape artist.

Except when He didn’t want to be.

There was another day. Another mob. Another angry crowd. But this time Jesus chose not to escape. He held out His hands for the bonds. He took up His cross. He went to Golgotha, not because He had to. Because He chose to.

Jesus is the divine escape artist. Except when He doesn’t want to be.

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