Luke 4:14-44 (NIV)
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
14Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
Jesus comes back from his battle with Satan stronger than before. By God’s grace, we, too, can be made stronger in faith when we resist the devil and flee temptation.
and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,
As Jesus sat, He prepared to teach instead of returning to His seat among the congregation. Everyone was wondering how He would explain what He had just read. He said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” In this, Jesus answers two questions.
- “Who did Isaiah write of?” Jesus answered that question, “Isaiah wrote of Me.”
- “When will this come to pass?” Jesus answered that question, “Isaiah wrote of now.”
21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ”
24“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.
27And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
28All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
This is quite a response to a sermon. These people were angry that there was something wrong with them, that their request for a miracle was denied, and that Jesus implied that God loved the Gentiles too.
Obviously, Jesus is not being truly seeker-sensitive here. Some today might say that He needed help in tailoring His message so that it would be easier and more enjoyable to hear.
29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Well, now. They wanted a miracle, and Jesus did an unexpected one right in front of them, escaping miraculously!
Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit
31Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. 32They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.
33In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evilspirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34“Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Such irony! The demons know who Jesus is, but his friends and neighbors in his hometown do not.
35“Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
36All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” 37And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus Heals Many
38Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
40When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
42At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus knows the value of solitude and time alone with God. Jesus is clear on his mission, which is not to amaze people with miracles, although that may be a part of it, but to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. Let us pray for a deeper understanding of both these truths in our own lives.
HERE is a song which will get your weekend off to a joyful start! Graham Kendrick and “Jesus put this song into our hearts.” Join with all the people in these stories who are rejoicing in the kindness and wholeness Jesus has brought to them!