I heard a story the other day about the man who had an ill-tempered wife who would whack him over the head with a skillet anytime he came home late.

Well, one day he lost track of time and didn’t get home until nearly midnight. Oh, how he was dreading that skillet as he made his way up the sidewalk.

When he got to the porch, he found a burglar trying to jimmy the lock on the door. The burglar spotted the husband, jumped up with a crowbar in his hand, and said, “Get back, or I’ll have to hit you.”

“That’s not necessary,” the husband said. “I’ll unlock the door for you, and I’ll wait right here while you go inside.”

I’d guess that burglar spent a few days rubbing the not on his heard when the the angry wife with a big skillet finished with him.

Have you ever noticed how quickly some people are to get angry? For some, it takes very little to make their tempers flare.

After having entered his public ministry, Jesus want to Nazareth, his hometown. There, He went into the synagogue and read scripture. He explained that a prophet gets no honor in his own country. And He told the people how God had opted to perform miracles for a starving widow in Elijah’s day and a leper in Elisha’s day. The people in Nazareth were so angry they forced Jesus out of their city and tried to push him over a very high cliff to his death.

These were religious people but, as it turned out, not very godly. You can read about that day in Luke 4, and you’ll be hard pressed to figure out why those people became so violently angry so fast. I suppose any pastor who has spent much time in ministry has encountered similar situations in which religious people gotten mad without good cause.

Of course, Jesus knew just how to handle that situation. He walked away, giving those people time to cool off. That sometimes can work with an angry spouse, with spoiled children, with siblings, with co-workers and with neighbors.

Most reasonable people will calm down and return to their rational selves after some time to reflect on the situation. Some won’t. When Jesus returned to Nazareth, most of the people still rejected him. Fortunately, a few sick folks had the faith to come to Him to be healed. But most people there saw him only as the carpenter’s son. They rejected the truth that He was the only begotten Son of God who came to this world to seek and save the lost.

You know, folks like that might benefit from a meeting with the woman with the cast iron skillet. Perhaps she could knock some sense into them.

Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at P.O. Box 673, Owenton, Ky. 40359 or 502-514-6857.

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