Numbers 30:1-31:54; Luke 4:1-30; Psalm 63:1-11; Proverbs 11:20-21
Since Jesus left his boyhood home of Nazareth, Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin, John; he’d been led by the Spirit into the wilderness for a 40 day face-to-face with the devil; and he’d begun his preaching ministry which drew rave reviews, “and everyone praised him.” Luke 4:15
Time to visit the home place…“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up.” …to do what he’d was accustomed to doing for the last 30 years…“he went to the Synagog on the Sabbath day.” This time…“he stood up to read.” The Isaiah scroll just ‘happened’ to be the chosen reading for that day.
Jesus’ eyes caught the part that talked about him and he read aloud, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Isaiah 61:1-2
The Hometown boy said, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21
Everyone nodded their approval and murmured among themselves-‘Joseph the Carpenter’s son? Not bad–good actually–no, marvelous!
Yeah, right…Jesus knew where this would go so he boldly put words into their mouths:”Physician, heal yourself!” Do for us what we heard you did in Capernaum. Let’s see what you can do, Hometown boy.
Jesus then reminded them of the prophets Elijah and Elisha and how they couldn’t do any miracles in their home country because of the peoples’ lack of faith. He reminded them that these prophets went into gentile territory and there worked acts of healing and miracles, thereby implying that God’s words and works were for ALL people.
The Hometown crowd did not buy into that–they sought to shut Jesus up for good. ‘Don’t let it be known that this young man with radical ideas came from our town!’
So, they “drove him out of town…to the brow of a hill…so they could throw him down the cliff.” Luke 4:29
“But passing through their midst, he went away.” vs. 30
The Hometown boy left town for good–he had lots of preaching, teaching and healing yet to do.
Lord God, It’s sad but true that your gracious words are rejected by many. That for lack of faith, many lives remain unchanged. You’ve seen lots of rejection–and we who are called by your name see that rejection too. Yet, you continue to reach out to the lost. Give us courage and strength and determination and your Spirit to do the same–for You do not change–Your love and compassion continue through all generations. We give you thanks and praise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name
I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:2-4