Luke- Week 8- Day 4

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?  (23)  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.  (24)  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  (25)  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  (26)  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.  (27)  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elise us the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  (28)  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  (29)  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Luke 4:22-29

Explanation:

The Messiah’s Rejection

They must have been wondering, “Is he claiming what I think He is claiming?”.   We know they were wondering something like this because of what it says in verse 22.

(22)  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?  

Luke 4:22

There was a tendency to doubt.  There was a tendency to disregard.  And the reason seems to be that they were too familiar with Jesus.  They thought they knew His identity, and that it was not the Messiah.

“And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?”

Their conception of a Messiah that was coming to conquer Rome, release the captives, and bring sight to the blind did not include those that were poor themselves.  It didn’t include the possibility that someone that they knew, from their hometown, the son of a carpenter.

(23)  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.  

Jesus perceived that these folks wanted to see Jesus do and say some of the things that he had done in the surrounding areas here in His hometown.  I believe what Jesus is alluding to is their tendency to dismiss what He was claiming.  They were taking an “I’ll believe it when I see it” position. It’s as if they were saying, “I’ve heard claims about you.  I’m hearing your claims now.  Prove yourself.”  Notice Jesus said “whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum” not “whatsoever you have done in Capernaum”.   They did not believe. 

How else do I know they didn’t believe:

Mark 6:3-6 gives other details of the same experience:

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.  (4)  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.  (5)  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.  (6)  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. 

Mark 6:3-6

Here is Luke’s expression of this:

(24)  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  

He was warning that they were in danger of not believing his claims even if He did give them a sign.  Why?  Notice the next couple of two verses where Jesus gives two parallel statements about the ministry of the prophets:

(25)  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  (26)  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.  

(27)  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  

In verse 25 you many widows and in verse 26 you have many lepers.

In verse 25 you have Elijah and in verse 27 you have Elisha.

In verse 25 you have the gentile widow responding in faith and being provided for by the ministry of Elijah, and in verse 27 you have a gentile soldier Naaman demonstrating faith and being healed by God through the ministry of Elisha.

What point was Jesus making?  God is willing to heal, and save, and set free everyone that believes, not just the Jews.  His plan was never just to be the God of the Jews, but of everyone that believes.

This is not in keeping with what these people believed about Jesus.  This is not in keeping with what these people believed about the Messiah.  Look how they responded:

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  (12)  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  (13)  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:11-13 

Notice the level of rejection they exhibited.

(28)  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  (29)  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.  

It wasn’t enough to just reject the message and leave.  They rejected the message and wanted to kill Him.  They believed that they were justified and righteous to do so.  The message that they were poor, and blind, and sick and captive was not palatable.  They thought they were ok.  And they thought that this claim to be God was blasphemous.

This is not a surprise for those who truly understand what the scripture says about the Messiah.

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  (3)  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:2-3

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  (11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  (12)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  (13)  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

John 1:10-13

Application:

God is not concerned with your heritage when it comes to whether or not your are right with Him.  He is concerned with your faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Life is the chance to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior and repent of our sins.  There is nothing more dangerous than rejecting the claims of Jesus Christ as Messiah, Savior and Lord.

Response:

How are you disregarding Jesus identity today?

Luke- Week 8- Day 3

(21)  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:21

Explanation:
The Messiah’s Claim
Jesus is clearly claiming that He is the fulfillment to this scripture. Jesus didn’t say “one day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears”. Jesus said “this day”!

This is the essence of Jesus’ claim.

Sinners are poor, having nothing to offer God that will take away their sin debt on their own. Jesus brings good news that in Him we can be spiritually rich. In eternity, we will be rich.
Sinners are spiritually sick and in need of healing. Jesus is the Great Physician, giving spiritual health and life. In eternity we will have incredible, eternal, and vibrant life, never to die again.
Sinners are held captive by their sin and in need of release. Jesus has come to bring freedom from the bondage of sin! In eternity we will be free from every bond forever.
Sinners are blind, unable to see themselves rightly. Jesus helps us to see the way He sees as He indwells and brings us sight. In eternity hope becomes sight!

Application:
Jesus Christ is the only way to God. This was His claim. His purpose in coming was to save the poor in spirit, the spiritually sick, the captive to sin, and the spiritually blind.

Jesus makes the claim and it is up to us to accept it.
If we have accepted this it is our job to declare this to those around us.

Response:
Have you recognized Jesus as Lord and Savior?
Who do you need to share Christ with today?

Luke- Week 8- Day 2

(16) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  
(17)  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (18)  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  (19)  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  (20)  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luke 4:16-17

Explanation:
The Messiah’s Mission

“and stood up for to read”

This showed reverance for the scripture as the Word of God. This would have been a scroll brought to Him. He unrolls it, and reads. The scripture about to be read is found in Isaiah 61:1-2.

These were people that knew Jesus. Many of them would have known of Him His whole life. He had come to this synagouge throughout His entire life. They also would have been in a culture looking for deliverance from Rome and a coming messiah.

So they hear Jesus read a messianic passage that refers to:

  • the poor
  • the brokenhearted
  • the captives
  • the blind
  • and the bruised.

No doubt they may have felt this way as a nation. No doubt they thought that when the Messiah was going to come, He would help bring a fix to all of these problems- poverty, captivity, blindness and the like. But this text that Jesus read was not referring exclusively to physical poverty, emotional trauma, imprisonment, physical disability and injury.
In this passage it gives metaphors about the state of the sinner and what salvation is like.
Sinners are poor, having nothing to offer God that will take away their sin debt on their own. Sinners are spiritually sick and in need of healing. Sinners are held captive by their sin and in need of release. Sinners are blind, unable to see themselves rightly.
They hear Jesus read this passage that also refers to this personal pronoun “me”.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me…
…to heal
…to preach
…to recover
…to set at liberty

Normally after the reading there would have been some exposition. When it says that “he sat down”, this was the normal position of the person that gives the teaching after the reading. Teachers in that day sat down.
The scripture says that all of the eyes were “fastened” on Jesus after he read this. What would he say about this scripture? Did he have new insight into this scripture? He has been teaching with authority through all of Caperneum. There were stories about Him being “born of a virgin”. John the Baptist was His cousin and had said some big things about Him. What is he going to say?

Jesus is reading a passage that says that when the Messiah comes he will be all about salvation. These descriptions are metaphors about what the Messiah is going to do for those who are in need. This will be His mission.

Application:
It is important for us to understand that mission of the Messiah was to seek and to save that which was lost. That is the mission that He gave to us. We cannot save, but we can introduce people to the One who can. This was His mission, and it is still His desire.

Response:
Who do you need to tell about Christ today?

Luke- Week 8- Day 1

(14) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  (15)  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

Luke 4:14-15

Explanation:

The Ministry of the Messiah

Jesus had spent over a year down in Judea according to the book of John.  Luke begins telling about Jesus’ ministry by starting more than year in when he began to minister in Galilee.  Luke is not giving all of these narratives completely chronologically, but selects them specifically for a reason.  Luke begins in Jesus’ hometown, and tells this story because it really does introduce the ministry of Jesus.

Jesus’s ministry was a ministry of reaching, teaching and ministering to people.  Some people accepted Him and others rejected Him.  Nazareth was the town where Jesus was brought up.

Notice what the scripture says about the habits of Jesus.  He said, “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day”.  Jesus had a habit to gathering with people at the synagogue.  If it was a habit for Jesus to gather together with people where the Word of God is taught and where God is worshipped, it isn’t a bad plan for us as well.  We should imitate Him in that.

The “synagogue” was a place for gathering for worship and the study of God’s word.  The word translated “synagogue” is found 5 times in this chapter. 

Synagogues are not found in the Old Testament.  In the time of the captivity, Jerusalem’s temple had been destroyed.  People began to gather together to worship and study God’s Word.  By the time Jesus came on the scene there were synagogues all over the Mediterranean world.  Wherever there were 10 Jewish men they were able to have a synagogue.  They had a person, called a “ruler of the synagogue”, that was in charge of choosing who would teach.  They had a person in charge of the buildings and the scrolls.  They were called “houses of instruction” and that is exactly what they were.

There were often educational opportunities through the week, and even the equivalent of an elementary school for kids, except they exclusively taught the Torah to the children.  tGod, in His providence, had made all these synagogues spring up.  When Jesus came he had places to go around and preach and teach.

This is a similar custom to what the Apostle Paul adopted.  Paul would go to the synagogues because it was a concentrated gathering of people who already believed in the God of the Old Testament, and that revered the Old Testament scriptures.

Application:

God prepared the world for Jesus’ ministry.

The fact that God had moved history towards these local gatherings of people for the point of Bible teaching, worship and fellowship shows that God was preparing the world for His Son.  Called in the scripture “the fullness of times”, God brought Jesus at just the right time in human history to bring about His purposes.  This same God is in control of our history and our lives.  He can be trusted

Jesus had a habit of gathering with others for worship, instruction and fellowship.

If Jesus exemplified this, so should we.  We need to gather with our local body for these same reasons.

The gathering of people for the instruction of the Word of God is part of God’s plan for evangelizing the world.

The point of this gathering is for God to be worshipped by ourselves and everyone that He has called us to reach.  As we grow together in Christlikeness with other believers God grows us into the missionaries that He wants us to be.  The end of discipleship is service and sending into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature.

Response:

Are you gathering with other believers regularly?

Are you growing as a disciple and as a missionary?