Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XIV: God's Certification Of Christ's Assignment To Minister In Preaching
(Luke 4:14-30)
  1. Introduction
    1. As was predicted in Scripture, we are viewing an ever increasing departure from God's truth and vitality in Christendom. It occurs even in Evangelical circles , and at times we see it in individuals we know.
    2. This problem can produce an unedifying negative overreaction. Though John tells us to "test the spirits" to avoid apostates in 1 John 4:1-4, people can go too far in distrusting even godly ministers and ministries.
    3. Luke 4:14-30 demonstrates how people can go too far in resisting godly ministers and ministries, and what signals we can use objectively to test the credibility of ministers and ministries under fire.
  2. God's Certification Of Christ's Assignment To Minister In Preaching, Luke 4:14-30.
    1. The message Jesus gave in His home synagogue was not subjectively palatable, so it was unjustly rejected:
      1. The Lord Jesus taught that He was the Messiah, the fulfiller of Isaiah 61:1-2a, Luke 4:16-19, 21.
      2. This news was hard for Jesus' home townsfolk to accept in view of the fact that the Messiah was not considered to arise out of Galilee, and since Jesus had been known as the common carpenter's son, the son of Joseph in the community, Lk. 4:22; Jn. 1:45-46.
      3. Accordingly, when Jesus preached unpalatable information about God's blessing even Gentiles by faith as opposed to favoring racial ties, they distrusted His credibility, and tried to kill Him, Lk. 4:25-30.
    2. However, several objective factors to the observing godly attendee in the audience should have tipped him off that Jesus' ministry was of God, and we can enumerate them as follows:
      1. Signal One - The godly onlooker should have combined Jesus' sterling reputation with His news of being the Messiah to have made him take Jesus seriously, Lk. 4:14-15:
        1. Before speaking that day in the synagogue, Jesus' sterling reputation had already preceded Him, and that throughout the entire region, Luke 4:14.
        2. In fact, He had been well received in all of the other synagogues where he had spoken, Luke 4:12.
      2. Signal Two - The godly onlooker should have been deeply moved by Christ's ministry in the synagogue in view of the emphasis on coincidences that God provided in Jesus' presentation:
        1. G. Campbell Morgan, in his commentary on Luke, p. 64, notes that the synagogue Scripture readings "for the day were appointed." Thus, the very of Isaiah 61:1-2 was the reading that had been laid out for reading by the synagogue officials without Jesus' direct involvement.
        2. Also, it was customary for one to volunteer by standing, signaling to be given the scroll, Ibid.
        3. The passage Jesus was assigned had the phrase, "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," a phrase meaning a time when God would manifest His grace, Edward J. Young, Isaiah, v. III, p. 460.
        4. When Jesus thus customarily sat down to preach after the reading, and said simply, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears," He was stating that what He had just read about the time of God's manifesting His grace to Israel through the Messiah was right then being fulfilled in the synagogue!
        5. Now, any thinking attendee of the synagogue, knowing that the location in Isaiah had been selected by the synagogue official apart from Jesus' DIRECT involvement could have realized that this was all of GOD. The TIMING of Jesus' reading assignment plus His announcement of right then fulfilling Isaiah was too coincidental to assume otherwise!
      3. Signal Three - The godly onlooker should have noticed how Jesus' teaching about prophets not being accepted in their own country (Lk. 4:23-24) and of God's blessing Gentiles over Israel (4:25-27) were taken right out of Biblical texts, 1 K. 17:9 and 2 K. 5:1-14. His exegesis was obviously quite credible!
Lesson: In evaluating whether a minister or ministry is reputable, (1) we must NOT judge based on how NICE or UNPALATABLE the message or messenger SEEMS to us, for WE might be in need of CORRECTION and thus be operating with a flawed subjectivity! (2) Rather, we can OBJECTIVELY evaluate a minister or ministry based upon (a) the past reputation involved (Lk. 4:14-15), (b) the presence of OVERWHELMINGLY credible COINCIDENCES between Biblical passages assign ed for a significant event and the actual events themselves to pick up God's view involved, and (c) the accuracy of how the message or ministry presents BIBLICAL concepts.