That God was gracious to one Syrian was the cause of anger in a synagogue in New Testament times. Behind the anger lay jealousy and misplaced xenophobia. The Syrian ( Aramaean, ארמי, Arami ) and the Israelite are kin. The Israeli-Syrian conflict of our times is not merely a continuation of an ancient family feud. The anger in the synagogue showed how the critical facts of solidarity with family can become inconsequential.
Luke 4:27-28Yeshua speaking in a synagogue
27) And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian. 28) And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath…
Jacob’s ancestral home
Syria is Jacob’s ancestral home. That is where Abraham sent his CEO to get a wife for Isaac. It was in Syria, at his uncle’s, where Jacob hid from his brother’s anger and started a family (with two of his cousins) .
At the time of Israel’s preparation to enter Canaan God prescribed the content of the future celebration of history. It included a meaningful mention of the Aramaean roots of the nation.
You shall answer and say before the Lord your God, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation.
Let us not cheer any attempt to separate families or treat people as less than ourselves because they are different. It comes home in the gathering of witnesses from every human family (Psalm 22:27-28). After all, diversity began with Adam and Eve, and that fact is not a trigger for anger or for a murderous mob to attack a speaker of truth.