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08 Luke 4.14-30

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Luke 4:14-30

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

v    I was listening to Dr. Laura this week

Ø     A young man called in

§        In College

§        Became Xtian

§        Felt called to go to into missions

§        Parents vehemently against it

§        Young man’s parents gave ultimatum

·        No support, on your own

Ø     Dr. Laura’s answer…

§        How important is God’s call to your life?

·        Are you willing to give up everything?

v    That question rings true in our life as well

Ø     Do we base our life…our actions on other people’s reaction…

§        Or on our call

Ø     How will we respond to the crowds reaction to us

v    Let’s look at how the crowd responds to Jesus

Ø     And then How Jesus responds to the crowd

v    Look with me at verse 14-15

v    READ V. 14-15 ~ Praise

Ø     Here is the fame that Satan promised

Ø     Here is the reality that Satan tempted Jesus with in the final temptation in the desert

§        Jesus comes back and immediately begins the ministry that He has been commissioned with

·        Teaching and preaching the Kingdom of God

¨     His fame spread

¨     And people praised Him

v    The praise of the crowd can be deceptive

Ø     It can woo you into neglecting your calling

§        Into telling people what they want to hear

·        Prime example of this is Hananiah

¨     Jeremiah 28 ~ Jeremiah and Hananiah (Yoke, 2 yrs, Babylon)

Ø     As a minister, I can understand this temptation

v    And I’m sure that Pastor Joe Wright felt this temptation when asked to open the new session of Kansas Senate last year, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

Ø     "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.

Ø     We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.  We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

Ø     We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism.

Ø     We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

Ø     We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

Ø     We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

Ø     We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

Ø     We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

Ø     We have abused power and called it politics.

Ø     We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

Ø     We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

Ø     We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Ø     Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.  Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!"

v    Can you imaging how difficult this was!

Ø     A great honor to be asked to open state senate

§        This was Pastor Joe Wright’s ticket to the big time

·        Then to pray a Biblically challenging prayer like this one

¨     He put his calling before himself

v    And this is a temptation for you as well

Ø     You are called

§        Called to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior

§        Called to make disciples of every nation

Ø     But when you are in your circle of secular friends…

§        Do you mention Christ by name

§        Do you proclaim that you are a follower of the one and only Lord

§        Do you bow to the pressure of the crowd

v    When the rubber meets the road, what will you say?

Ø     As Dr. Laura put it

§        How important is God’s call to your life?

v    And Jesus answers this test in our next section of Scripture…

v    READ V. 16-22 ~ Questioning

Ø     Jesus comes back home a local celebrity

§        He is well known

§        He is well liked

·        Praised in all Galilee

¨     A population of 3 MM people

§        He is admired for His teaching ability

·        Eloquent

·        Knowledgeable

·        Confident

§        He was revered for the miracles he had already performed

·        Turning water into wine

·        Healing the lame and blind

v    EQ: How easy would it have been to put hard teaching behind him and tickle the ears of the home crowd?

v    But…

Ø     The Sabbath rolls around and Jesus goes to the synagogue “as was his custom” the text says

§        Can you imagine how many bad sermons Jesus heard

·        Bad interpretations

·        Wrong applications

¨     Yet he still honored God by going

Ø     Because it is all about God, not us!

§        There is a lesson for us today!

Ø     So when He comes home, He is given the opportunity to preach

§        Synagogue worship

·        No one teacher

·        All took turns

Ø     Jesus is given the scroll of Isaiah

Ø     And Jesus turns to Isaiah 61:1-2

§        For two reasons

·        1) To declare who he was…The Messiah

Ø     And they question this declaration

¨     Isaiah 61:1-2 is a passage that describes the mission of the Messiah

Ø     To preach the Good news to the Poor in Spirit

Ø     To give sight to the Spiritually Blind

Ø     To release those Oppressed by sin

Ø     To free those held Prisoners by sin

¨     Jesus was claiming to be that person

Ø     “Today the Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”

§        What a moment in History!

§        The Messiah claiming to be here!

Ø     And look at the reaction of the people

§        READ V. 22

·        Matt 13:54-56 makes this even more clear

¨     The people were amazed at Jesus’ preaching ability

Ø     But unbelieving in his words

·        That was the way it was then

¨     And that is still the way it is

Ø     People marvel at the man Jesus…But do not accept His words

§        The world acknowledges that Jesus was the most influential man that ever existed

·        The world tells time by his birth

·        Hundreds of millions of people claim to follow the religion that He began

¨     Yet…

Ø     Billions of people reject who He said he was

v    He also chose Isaiah 61 for another reason…

Ø     2) To lay bare the people’s spiritual state

§        Jesus went on to explain what the text meant to the people of Nazareth and Israel

·        And when he did, it angered the crowd

 

§        READ V. 23-30 ~ Here we see Jesus’ first miracle in Luke

 

Ø     Q: Why were the Israelites angry?  What were they so upset about?

v    He chose 2 OT texts to help explain Isaiah 61

Ø     Let’s look at those texts and see what Jesus was saying to the people…

v    First, the Widow of Zarephath

Ø     Turn to 1 Kings 17:7-16 (pg. 555)

§        Elijah is on the run from King Ahab

§        Comes across a very poor woman gathering sticks to make a fire for her and her son’s  last meal

§        Elijah asks her to do an amazing thing…

·        Let a stranger eat your last piece of bread and then you will be supplied all the food you can eat

Ø     READ 1 Kings 17:12-16

¨     Incredibly she trusts Elijah’s words

Ø     And the flour and oils did not run out during the whole 3.5 yr drought

Ø     What made the people of Nazareth angry was what Jesus was saying to them through this…

§        The Widow knew her poverty and trusted God

§        The Nazarenes were spiritually poor and did not recognize it

·        Isn’t it true those in need of Jesus’ grace often realize it the least

Ø     In their own eyes, the synagogue people were good, respectable, church-going, family-oriented, solid citizens of Nazareth

§        In their own eyes they were in need of nothing

·        They were even Israelites! God had given them a guarantee

Ø     And that is one of Satan’s best deceptions

§        “I don’t need God, I’m fine, I have everything I want, my life is going along great”

·        That is the attitude that Jesus was getting at when He said

¨     Matt 19:24 ~ it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God

v    He is not talking about finances, He is talking about spiritual poverty

Ø     Those who put their trust in themselves, think that they are spiritually wealthy

§        Instead of realizing how poor we are and in desperate need of salvation

Ø     The widow realized her poverty and trusted that God would supply her need

§        V. 14 ~ Lord God said: Flour and oil will not be used up until the Lord gives rain

Ø     And he says that to us today

§         John 4:13-14

·        Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

v    The second example Jesus uses which infuriated the synagogue crowd was that of Naaman ~ 2 Kings 5:1-14 (pg. 576)

Ø     Story of a general of the Aram army who contracted leprosy

Ø     One of his slave girls tells him that there is a prophet in Israel names Elisha that can cure him

Ø     So Naaman goes to see Elisha

Ø     READ 5:9-14

§        Through this story Jesus was saying…

·        The people of Nazareth are like Naaman in 2 ways…

§        1)

·        They wanted proof that the cure is true

¨     Naaman wanted Elisha to call on name of Lord, wave hand, give some incantation…

Ø     In other words…

§        Do some miraculous sign that leprosy would be healed

Ø     Same with Nazarenes

§        Jesus knew in their heart they wanted some sign, some miracle in order to believe

·        V. 23 ~ “Do here what you did in Capernaum”

·        In Mark 8, the crowd asked for a sign, so that they may believe

¨     Jesus replied: “Adulterous & Wicked generation asks for miraculous signs”

·        Same today

¨     We want proof before we believe

Ø     But in the Christian experience, the proof comes after

§        In the form of a changed life…

·        restored relationships

·        renewed purpose in life

·        re-instated righteousness

·        re-established morals

·        and a replaced heart

¨      Ez 36:26

¨      I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh

¨     All Jesus asks for us to do is to trust in Him

v    ‘

v    are like Naaman in another way too

Ø     2)

§        We, like Naaman, want some great task to do in order to earn our salvation

·        Naaman left in a rage because Elisha had just told him to dip himself in the river

¨     However, his servants caught up with him and said…

Ø     If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much more when he tells you “wash and be clean.”

§        You see…

·        Naaman wanted some great task to do to earn his healing

¨     And that is what the religions of the world demand

Ø     If you are good enough, then…

Ø     Do such and such, and then…

Ø     Go to Mecca, and then…

Ø     Visit the Dali Lama, and then…

Ø     If the good in your life outweighs the bad, then…

§        We all want to be like Hercules

·        Before he was to be made immoral, he had to complete arduous and dangerous12 Labors

¨     Kill the Nemean lion

Ø     But Jesus says…

§        Just believe in me

¨     Capture the great boar of Arcadia

Ø     But Jesus says…

§        Trust what I tell you to be true

¨     Clean the stables of King Augeas (housed 3,000 cattle)

Ø     But Jesus says…

§        Salvation is a gift from God

¨     Kill the Cretan Minotaur

Ø     But Jesus says…

§        My grace is sufficient for you

¨     Steal the belt of the Amazonian Queen

Ø     But Jesus says…

§        Simply believe in your heart and confess with your mouth

¨     Capture Cerberus, the 3-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades

Ø     But Jesus earned our salvation for us

§        By dying on a cross in our place for our sins

v    END!

Ø     The world wants to earn whatever they receive

§        But the Gospel is contrary to the worlds logic

·        Paul wrote that the Gospel is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles

v    Conclusion

Ø     Let me circle back to the first question I asked you…

§        How important is your calling?

·        Are you willing to be rejected for it?

·        Are you willing to die for it?

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