Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20081210.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XII: Jesus' Identity As The World's Messiah By His Hometown Ministry
Lesson: The SUDDEN BREAK between Jesus' longtime union with fellow Jewish townspeople, which BREAK came from His CLAIM to be the Messiah, and hints of God's desire to evangelize Gentiles when Israel rejected Christ, reveals JESUS was CONVINCED He was God's Messiah. It also hints that Jesus knew of God's intention to make Him disciple the nations after Israel had rejected Him!
- An effective means of evaluating a person's real identity is to note the way people in His own hometown, those who have seen him grow up, view him, and the way He himself views them and relates to them.
- Luke shared an informative incident that occurred between Jesus and His hometown folk, giving added evidence that He is indeed God's Savior of the world (as follows):
- Jesus' Identity As The World's Messiah By His Hometown Ministry, Luke 4:14-31.
- As would be expected of a reputable Jew, Jesus was initially well-liked by His hometown Jews, 4:14-16:
- Following His public presentation to Israel by the respected prophet, John the Baptist (Luke 3:16-22), Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit, performing attesting miracles, Luke 4:14, 23.
- He thus became famous in the region of Galilee (Luke 4:14b), and spoke in their synagogues, Lk. 4:15.
- Jesus' hometown synagogue of Nazareth also accepted His preaching ministry; when He entered the synagogue, as had long been His practice as a young adult, He stood up to read God's Word before sitting down to preach from it in line with typical, long-established Orthodox Jewish custom, Luke 4:16, 20a; Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1972, part one, p. 449.
- However, in this landmark sermon, Jesus abruptly went against the popular views His townsfolk, 4:17-27:
- Jesus began to read from Isaiah 61:1-2a, a passage predicting the ministry of the Messiah, and He ended His reading in the middle of a sentence that shifted from predicting Messiah's ministry in His First Coming to predicting His judgment in His Second Coming, Luke 4:18-19: the Isaiah 61:2 verse Jesus stopped reading part way reads in full as follows (and we mark that division by shifting from regular to Italicized letters): "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [Messiah's First Coming], and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn." [Messiah's Second Coming]
- When He then gave the Isaiah scroll back to the attendant and sat down to preach, He announced that Messiah's First Coming predictions of the verses He had just read had been fulfilled in the ears of His hearers that day, a strong claim by Jesus to be that predicted Messiah, Luke 4:17-21.
- Jesus' Hebrew townspeople were stunned, marveling at His gracious words, and wondering how He could claim to be God's Messiah when they had known Him only as the carpenter's son, Luke 4:22.
- Noting their unbelief, Jesus continued to preach, claiming that His Jewish townspeople were not ready to trust He was the Messiah, for they were interested only in His miracles, not His identity, 4:23-24.
- Jesus then proclaimed how such unbelief was not new: Old Testament prophet, Elijah had gone to stay with a Canaanite widow in Sidon because there were no believing Jewish widows in their region of Galilee in his era, and Elisha had healed only the pagan Namaan though there were many lepers in Israel in his era due to their unbelief. So it was in Jesus' day: there were no true believers in Him as Messiah among His townsfolk as like should have been, Luke 4:25-27.
- [This reference in Jesus' landmark sermon at Nazareth at the start of His ministry sets the pattern for Luke's thesis in His Gospel and the Book of Acts: as in Elijah's and Elisha's era, God shifted from ministering to Jews who rejected the truth to reach Gentiles, so Jesus' ministry would shift from ministering to a rejecting Israel to reach a world of Gentiles, for Jesus was God's Savior of the world!]
- This critique of their rejecting faith in Him as Messiah so angered Jesus' townsfolk who had known and accepted Him all His life, they tried to kill Him, so He had to move to Capernaum, Luke 4:28-31!
Application: May we believe in Jesus as the WORLD'S Savior, for the WAY He PARTED COMPANY with His townspeople over the issue of His Messianic identity reveals He IS that Messiah and Savior!