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Jesus nearly thrown off a cliff | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series – 04

Here at this cliff, Jesus nearly met his death. Having upset the local community in the synagogue by announcing himself to be the Messiah who would fulfil the ancient prophecies in Isaiah, events turned chaotic. The crowd became angry and drove him out of the town to the cliff edge in order to kill him, but the Scriptures tell us that he mysteriously passed through them and made his escape. This was not his time; that would come later in Jerusalem when he would choose the way of the cross.

Quick read

Luke 4.28–30

In a nutshell

‘And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.’ Luke 4.29, ESV

Mount Precipice is traditionally believed to be the cliff above Nazareth where its inhabitants threatened to throw Jesus off. He had outraged them by claiming he was the Messiah and that non-Jews were included in God’s offer of forgiveness and redemption. 

Legends that go way beyond the biblical account include a cave opening to hide Jesus from the angry mob, or Jesus escaping by taking a six-mile leap to Mount Tabor; the Arabic name for the mount is Jebel Qafzeh, which means ‘mount of the leaping’. Yet all the Bible tells us is that Jesus walked through the crowd and went on his way. 

The importance of the biblical site to Christians, even today, was exemplified in 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI delivered a Mass at Mount Precipice in front of tens of thousands of pilgrims.

Have you ever been misunderstood, unjustly blamed or outright abused or bullied? In life, there are dark moments and about these Jesus says, 'I know'.   

Jesus was rejected by his hometown. Just sit with that for a second. Picture the people you grew up with all turning on you and running you out of town. It’s one thing to be rejected by strangers; it’s an entirely different thing to be rejected by the people you’ve known your whole life. Even Jesus’ own family rejected him.   

Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah as being a man familiar with sorrows. Jesus' life reflects this. And we are not blameless. On his way to the cross, had we been there, our voices might well have been heard 'call[ing] out among the scoffers'. And yet, Jesus took up our pain and suffering so that in our darkest moments, in our moments of pain and rejection we have a God who is not distant but near and whispers in our pain, 'I know'.   

Read on, to find out more about resistance to Jesus and his message: 

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