Scripture states that it was the custom of Jesus to be in the synagogues on the sabbath.
On this particular sabbath, Jesus stood up to read from a portion of the prophets as was customary at this point of the service… he took the scroll of Isaiah, found the desired place and He began to read Isaiah 61:1-2
As we look at our passage today we will see that it takes place at separate times in separate synagogues and each have a separate response…
Let’s look at the setting of the Synagogue in Nazareth Luke 4:14-17
Praise Turned to Rage
Jesus is beginning His ministry… notice how… “in the power of the Spirit”!!!
At Jordan He was baptized, and the Spirit descended on Him
In the wilderness He was led by the Spirit
Now as He begins to minister in Galilee He does so by the Spirit’s Power!
He is ready to teach and preach
His teaching was praised by those in Galilee… Now He comes to Nazareth
His home town, 30 years growing up there
Known as the son of Joseph… not addressed as “The Son of God”
He is a carpenter as was Joseph… growing in wisdom and all there saw Him grow.
Now in the synagogue where He had been so many times, held so many discussions, He stands up and reads… (the passage of His choosing) but with a fresh power, authority, and brevity… Luke 4:18-19
Praise of Jesus
This was a well known Messianic passage from Isaiah!
The Jews had been anticipating this!
All eyes as He sat to teach on this passage, expound on it in greater detail...
What will He say?
So short… Luke 4:21
We all love those messages, sermons, full of Grace don't we!
Think about what Jesus was sharing with them...
Overview each point (first) and C.R. with Luke 7:22-23 when John questions if Jesus is the promised Messiah...
Gospel (good news) to the poor
Those poor in spirit, needing what only Christ can offer
Free them from the sin they are enslaved to
Sight to the blind
This would be both physical and spiritual blindness
Open their eyes to God’s unfolding plan to save all men
Bringing Light to the darkness
Free those oppressed
Not from Rome, but those who are living in the world oppressed by sin and Satan
Favorable year of the the Lord (the time)
Jesus stops short in the sentence and does not finish verse 2 (understanding the timing, his rejection, and His return)
Fully aware that this is the time He is to offer salvation and the kingdom
The Day is coming when Christ shall return with vengeance
I am the Messiah, the Christ, the fulfillment of this prophecy!
We like hearing a message that goes along with our plans and desires, BUT they missed it!
Jesus knew their hearts…
They desired to see Israel great and powerful again as in the days of King David, no more Roman rule, prestige, power, glory for Israel!
This is not what God had in mind.
Jesus Reveals their hearts with illustrations...
They want a show, proof, signs… rather than listening to the message of Zacharias, Mary and Joseph, the scriptures
Then He illustrates with Elijah being sent by God to a gentile widow instead of the widows in Israel
Elisha is used by God to heal a gentile Syrian leper rather than the many lepers in Israel
These two prophets of God rejected by Israel, God send to bless Gentiles
Jesus rejected by Israel will be accepted by the Gentiles
Initial Praise, with wonder/doubt with a transition to Rage
A temper tantrum, because they will not get their way
How dare you do it your way, I want my way, my desires, my plans for the messiah, an exclusiveness with God
We want the Glory, we don’t want to share this with gentiles… or God!
St. Augustine said, “They love truth when it enlightens them, but hate truth when it accuses them”
Christ had revealed their hearts and they did not like what was made visible.
You and I have fallen into the temptation to want God to follow our plan, scripture to say what we want to hear, and can find ourselves quickly shifting from declaring the praises of God to throwing a spiritual temper tantrum when we don’t get our way… OR we can respond like the next group...
Praise of Authority & Power
Setting in Galilee… Luke 4:31-32
Not only what He taught… but the authority He taught with!
Not a mere reading of the words but spoke as though He knew and understood what God was saying!
With the Scriptures and His teaching
Over demons (one in the synagogue, and others in the region) Verse 41
Demon threw him to the ground but the man was unhurt… Christ perfect healing of demon posessed
Demons listened to Him, fear Him C.R. James 2:19 (we often fail to have the reverence for God that we should)
“Be quiet and come out of him” … not allowing the demons to speak???
Jesus was and is the Christ, God had a plan a purpose, a message, and a timing
Jesus did not need or want demons to declare him, they knew who He was,
God wanted people to acknowledge Him as Christ, He did not need the demons to do so
After the synagogue Jesus went to Simon’s home and healed his mother-in-law (Peter was married)
Luke notes for us the fever was high (very sick)
Christ as with the demons heals completely!
No rest or recovery needed… she jumps up and serves!
Service to God should always be the response of the heart to God working in us!
Word spread and many come to be healed… and all are
Recognition of the message as powerful, seeing a glimpse of His authority
They recognized His authority with the message prior to the casting out of demons and the healings!
They desired him to stay…rather than push Him away.
Realize Jesus dependance on the Spirit and prayer in His life
The main purpose Jesus is sent is to preach not heal… Verse 43
The expression “kingdom of God” should be interpreted dynamically rather than statically, for it involves the dynamic of God’s reign rather than a territory with static borders.
God’s kingdom is both present and future.
It already has been realized in fulfillment of the OT promises and manifested in Christ but awaits the final consummation when Jesus returns.
How will you respond to His message?
Well if it lines up with your agenda, plans, ideals… but if not
Understand the authority of the One who is preaching the message
Push Him away or cling to Him and join with Him...
Jesus kept preaching in the synagogues… ultimately they would reject Him, Israel would hand over their Messiah to the Gentile Romans to be crucified
On Sunday morning three days later He would rise up from the dead!
The Church would be born… we worship Him in many ways and forms around the globe today
We remember Him by something He instigated for us called communion…
not done in the synagogues but done with the church as a way to remember His coming, and sacrifice, and to look forward to His next coming!