From Luke 4-5
In today’s passage Jesus reads a prophecy of scripture and says he is its fulfilment. Q. Who do you think are the people most likely to respond properly to Jesus?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
I love this passage. I can just imagine Jesus reading out the prophecy and the anticipation in the room.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lk 4:16–21)
Jesus drops a bomb in the room announcing the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus is the one who has begun to fulfill it. Some marvel, but not all believe.
22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown”. (Lk 4.22-24)
Jesus recognizes the difference in responses. Sadly it is those closest to him who sought to put him in a box. That is belittle him and seek to control him.So Jesus retorts.
25 “But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. (Lk 4.25-30)
The examples Jesus quotes are of Gentiles who recieved God’s blessings while Israel who was unfaithful to God received none. Jesus is comparing his audience who is rejecting him to unfaithful Israel, who will watch on as the unexpected recipients receive God’s blessings. They didn’t seem to like Jesus telling them this.
Jesus expects people to treat him with respect. He is certainly worthy of that. When these people tried to put him in a box. He didn’t just passively accept it. He could have and he does in some situations with reason. He stands up to them and calls them out.
Highlighting that sometimes the people you would expect to be most likely to respond positively are those who don’t.
And those who we might expect to respond in a negative way don’t, they accept what you have to say?
How could this influence who you share the gospel with?
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.