Jesus was standing on the edge of the hill. The crowd was behind him, beside him. Their plan, as much as they had one, was to push Jesus off the cliff.
I think, as I read the text (read it yourself), that their motives were mixed, as motives always are. I think they thought they were defending the faith.
Jesus had read words from Isaiah, which spoke in the first person: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” And then Jesus said that those words had just come true. The implication we are left with, and I assume that they were left with, was that Jesus was saying that HE was anointed by God and full of the Spirit of the Lord.
The people of Nazareth, the town of 500 or so where he grew up, knew him. They had known him and his family. And they took issue with him claiming that he was full of the Spirit of the Lord. I think that’s a big part of why they wanted to toss him on the stones. Blasphemy.
I think that in addition to defending the faith, however, they were defending hurt feelings. “Jesus, I’ve known you all along. I helped you in Hebrew school. I know your mom. And you’ve got nothing for us? No miracles, no blessings, no feedings?”
It makes me wonder how often hurt feelings about God not doing what we want ends up with us tossing him off the cliff. Or trying to. Because, after all, Jesus walked through the crowd and went back to teaching and doing miracles and calling for followers. Just not in Nazareth.
(Mark’s account says that all he was able to do was lay his hands on a few people and heal them. A few people, the ones who actually knew him, actually were looking to him and not to what he could do for them.)