Hometown Infamy

And Jesus returned in the power of the [Holy] Spirit to Galilee, and a report about Him went out through all the surrounding country. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And He [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up…went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day…stood up to read…Isaiah…where it was written, The [Holy] Spirit of the Lord is upon me…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…He began to say…Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing…When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath…they rose up…drove Him out…so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went away.

Luke 4:14-30

Not long after Jesus was tempted in the wilderness and He preached His Sermon on the Mount, somewhere in Galilee, Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and word of His ministry was being reported throughout Galilee. We learn that Jesus taught in their synagogues. In those days, it was customary to have a synagogue in any community that had at least twelve Jewish men in it. So, Jesus went to communities in Galilee, preaching the Kingdom of God. Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth, His hometown, He “stood up to read,” as was the custom in that day. Jesus unrolled the scroll to the writings of Isaiah. Jesus read Isaiah 61:11, a prophecy of the Messiah the Jews were expecting to bring salvation to them. “The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him” as He said, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” In wonder, the people said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Jesus went on to preach to the people of their wanting to see the same miracles Jesus had done in Capernaum right there in Nazareth. In other words, Jesus was telling the people they only came to see Him do what they had heard He did in Capernaum. Jesus, then told the people that “…no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” And, He told them that Elijah and Elisha were unable to do miracles in Israel because of the peoples’ unbelief but, only to foreigners were they able to heal. The people became incensed with anger at Jesus’ words, rising up to push Him from the synagogue toward a hill above the town where they sought to kill Jesus by throwing Him over the cliff. Luke concludes this story by saying, “…passing through their midst, He went away.” Christians, if our Savior and Lord had great difficulty, even persecution, witnessing to the people of Israel, who were looking for a Messiah, we must be willingly zealous in our witness to the “people who live in darkness.” These people do not want the Light of the world to shine upon them because their deeds are evil. Like Adam and Eve, hiding from God in the Garden of Eden, sinful people do not want and, will not seek, the Lord! We Christians are commanded to go, make disciples and, teach converts all that Jesus had commanded His Disciples. May God bless you in your work!

Source: S C Ball January 21, 2023


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