Tuesday, June 9, 2009

#10 Chapter 4:14-30 Jesus rejected in Nazareth

Read Chapter 4:14-30...then come back..

Jesus has now left the wilderness after spending 40 days and 40 nights fasting and praying, and passing the test by being tempted by the devil..

It was sort of a crash-course in preparing to be the Savior of the World. Actually it was just the last stage of His preparation, because He had been preparing for this all His life, but now He began the first steps into His real ministry, and to finally fulfill why He had come.

In verse 14 ..."then Jesus returned in the Power of the Spirit" So there was nothing to worry about, He was armed and dangerous now. The Holy Spirit has been poured out on Him and He's more than ready. He's prepared..
I also note here that Jesus did not begin His full-time ministry until He was baptised in the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus, God in the flesh, relied on the power He brought in order to do what He was required to do...This tells me that if Jesus needed the Holy Spirit, how much more do I need to rely on Him as a mere mortal?

So now He begins and among the first places He goes to is back home to Nazareth. His mother, sisters and brothers and maybe Joseph would have been there.

And as He had done for many years while growing up there, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and was given the scriptures to read and He found Isaiah 49:8,9 “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
In quoting this particular scripture He was deliberately declaring that He was the One who had come to fulfil this prophecy.

And even though they were impressed with His eloquence and mastery of the scriptures, they still didn't respect Him or acknowledge Him because they remembered Him as nothing more than a carpenters son.

So Jesus compared them to the people in Elijah's time when all but a few Israelites had rejected God, just like they were doing to Him now.

Needless to say, this ruffled their religious feathers, so they jumped up and tried to throw Him off a cliff. But they can't hold Him, it's not His time to die so He just slips away....sounds like the angels had something to do with that little trick??

They must have been left standing there wondering where and what had just happened?..I can just see their faces filled with surprise and anger to have lost Him.

As a christian I'm compelled to preach the gospel too. Not as a pastor of a church, but to live my life before others as evidence of what Christ has done for me in order to point to One who could do the same thing for them. My life should preach the gospel even without words..

But far to often just like Jesus we are rejected and as a result they miss the opportunity to know the One who can set them free from heartbreak. The One who can liberate them from the oppression on their lives. The One who can open their spiritual eyes to see the truth that will set them free.

Oh, how Jesus' heart must have mourned for these people and mourns for people today because they have hardened their hearts and their traditions had blinded them and taken the place of a real relationship with God.

We must not forget that He was talking to the very people who were supposed to be true worshippers of God, but they didn't even know it when God Himself walked among them.

I'm convicted here...I wonder if Jesus came to see me would I recognize Him? Would I know it was Him? Would I hear what He had to say?

I believe so, I hope so, but this story gives me new determination to be sure I get to know Him even more...

What did you learn from this story?

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