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HG037a+039. Luke 4:14-30

Harmony of the Gospels  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:52
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Luke 4:14–31 NKJV
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 So 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 to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. 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 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; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. 31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.
Luke 4:14–30 NIV
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ” 24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Jesus was starting to make a name for Himself and the news of what He had been doing had gotten back to His home town. It was Nathanael who posed the question can anything good come out of Nazareth. He must have had in mind the people of this story we are related to here by Luke but even the people of Jerusalem asked a similar question to Nathanael:
John 7:41 NKJV
Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
And this despite the signs and healings He was doing.
So he went to the synagogue as was His practice showing by example we should all be meeting with fellow believers. He happened to be going to his home one. He stood up to read which was the practice. He did not ask for any particular scroll but one was handed to Him. This was the Lord’s leading. He was given the scroll of Isaiah and he found the place that He was to read from. Remember that there were no chapters and verses in those days. The scroll could have been 23ft long, written on both sides, and contain not only Isaiah but some of the other letters too. We know because we have a Dead Sea Scroll with the majority of Isaiah on it, called the Isaiah Scroll. Well, we know that He read from the first two verses of chapter 61 in Isaiah.
So he went to the synagogue as was His practice, He went where the people were for almost everyone went in those days. He stood up to read. He did not ask for any particular scroll but one was handed to Him. This was the Lord’s leading. He was given the scroll of Isaiah and he found the place that He was to read from. Remember that there were no chapters and verses in those days. The scroll could have been 12ft long, written on both sides, and contain not only Isaiah but some of the other letters too. All of it, though, would have been called, the Scroll of Isaiah. Well, we know that He read from chapter 61 of Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me...This is fulfilled in your hearing. I would have loved to have been there to hear these words! All those who were there would have understood this immediately - He is saying that He is the Messiah, there is no escape from this connotation. I am declaring to you, in your presence that I am the One you have all been waiting for. The response should have been one of reception for they had heard the things that He had done but, instead, what He says immediately got the backs up of the attendees - who do you think you are! We know who you are…you’re just a carpenter, we know your mother, your brothers, your father.
At the beginning they spoke well of Him but they soon turned against Him. So much so to the point where they were willing to kill Him to silence Him and throw Him off the cliff. These are really the people that make you ask whether anything good can come from Nazareth.
but Jesus did.
What was the problem with the Nazarenes? They would not accept Jesus as anything other than one they knew already. They would not receive the good news. But, Jesus said, this is nothing new. With both Elijah and Elisha they were sent to those outside of the community. The point? The Nazarenes thought only they were the chosen ones of God but God had a different idea. The Nazarenes were their own community, there on a hilltop, above everyone else, in need of no one else. They were isolated and insular but the message that Jesus brings means that we are not called to be inward looking but to be outward. The community that they were was not meant to be a private one but an open one. They did not exist solely for their benefit but for the benefit of others. And above all they did not have faith, unlike the non-Jews that Elijah and Elisha were sent to, whilst the rest of the Jews suffered from God’s judgement, and not just any non-Jews but their mortal enemies, the Syrians. They really hated Jesus for this.
So, they rejected Him and the message.
So, what was the message that they rejected?
This immediately got the backs up of the attendees - who do you think you are! We know who you are…you’re just a carpenter, we know your mother, your brothers.
Jesus had come and was anointed by the Spirit to do what? Six things are mentioned:
I personally love these verses because these verses which Jesus said of Himself are those which also refer to us for the Spirit of the Lord is upon us to do all the above. His Spirit lives in us, the Spirit of Jesus – and greater things will you do – this is amazing – we miss out on so much because we do not realise the power of God working in and through us – the people on this estate are waiting like creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. And who has time for temptation when we get on with the works of God?
So, let us look at the grand verses to see what our mission is, which is to follow in the footsteps of our Saviour.
He came:
What are the the things that Jesus was anointed for? We find that there are six things.
To proclaim good news to the poor
This word ‘poor’ denotes those who are destitute or as an idiom says; their ribs are always showing. Poor is a relative term here in the UK. I have not yet seen poor like those in Macedonia or elsewhere in the world but how is poor defined in Scripture? It is someone who is dependent upon others to live. This would include those who are dependent upon the state and upon charities such as Foodbanks. Luke is very much a gospel for the poor.
To heal the brokenhearted
Life has dealt many blow after blow. Relationships have broken down. Spouses, children, relatives, friends have left or died but there is One who sticks closer than a brother, One who will not let you down, One who will never leave you nor forsake you, who loves you. You are your beloved’s and your Beloved is yours.
To proclaim liberty to the captives
For those who are in an actual prison, a jail in a physical sense, or one where one is bound spiritually, emotionally or mentally. Christ has come to bring freedom, to set at liberty. There are prisoners who will never leave jail but are free because they have found forgiveness.
To give sight to the blind
Physical blindness or spiritual: He has come to let us see especially our spiritual condition and need of a saviour as well as heal the sick.
To free those who are oppressed
For those who are beaten down, slaves to their situation and set them free. Are you weary and heavy laden, asks Jesus: I will give you rest.
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord
This time is the favourable time of the Lord. The time we are yet alive. The year of the Lord’s favour mentioned here refers to the Year of Jubilee which happened every 50th year:
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Three: This Is the Son of God! (Luke 3–4)

The main purpose of this special year was the balancing of the economic system: slaves were set free and returned to their families, property that was sold reverted to the original owners, and all debts were canceled. The land lay fallow as man and beast rested and rejoiced in the Lord.

Jesus is saying this is what should be happening right now in Israel and He is here to proclaim that every year is the year of jubilee as far as He is concerned.
Jesus came to bring the message of the Kingdom of God where there are no physical, spiritual, emotional or mental limitations, where God will rule with justice and equity. Notice that Jesus said that these words were fulfilled in their hearing. This is no waiting till you die promises but a reality that can start now. This is the year of our Lord 2017 - the year of Jubilee - your year of Jubilee where God’s favour is upon you.
Jesus came to meet every need. And this was the message that was rejected. Can it be that they were so into naval gazing that they could not see past their noses? It would seem so.
And this was the message that was rejected. Can it be that they were so much naval gazers that they could not see past their noses? It would seem so.
But could this now be us? Are we so much a part of a clique that we have forgotten what we exist for? Are we here for ourselves or are we here for the glory of God and for the benefit of others?
I love these verses because these verses which Jesus said of Himself for those which also refer to us. How is this? Is not the Spirit of the Lord that was upon Jesus the same Spirit who rests on us and in us? Indeed, that is the case. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us to do all that Isaiah declared. We miss out on so much because we do not realise the power of God working in and through us – the people on this estate, in Swansea and beyond are waiting, like creation is waiting, for the revealing of the sons of God.

Monday, April 2, 1739, marked a signal event in the history of Christianity because it was on that day that John Wesley abandoned his reticence to preach outside the church and, at Kingswood Bristol, took to open-air evangelism. Wesley’s decision brought him face to face with the common people and ignited a revival the likes of which England had never seen. Regarding that great day, Wesley wrote in his diary:

At four in the afternoon I submitted to be more vile, and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, speaking from a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city, to about three thousand people. The Scripture on which I spoke was this … “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 recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

So, we’ve seen what the mission of Jesus was and what, in turn, is our mission, which is to follow in the footsteps of our Saviour and to glorify God in our good works.
So, let us look at the grand verses to see what the mission of Jesus was and what, in turn, therefore, is our mission, which is to follow in the footsteps of our Saviour and to glorify God in our good works.
Good works? That’s right. Every area mentioned by Jesus are of social concern and justice. The gospel is not just about words but about action. The two go together. With one hand we give this world’s goods and helps and with the other the way to eternal life. Jesus went round doing good as well as preaching. Both the temporal and eternal are here.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Three: This Is the Son of God! (Luke 3–4)

The main purpose of this special year was the balancing of the economic system: slaves were set free and returned to their families, property that was sold reverted to the original owners, and all debts were canceled. The land lay fallow as man and beast rested and rejoiced in the Lord.

Jesus is saying this is what should be happening right now in Israel and I am here to proclaim that every year is the year of jubilee as far as He is concerned.
Jesus came to bring the message of the Kingdom of God where there are no physical, spiritual, emotional or mental limitations, where God will rule with justice and equity. Notice that Jesus said that these words were fulfilled in their hearing. This is no waiting till you die promises but a reality that can start now. This is the year of our Lord 2017 - the year of Jubilee - your year of Jubilee where God’s favour pours down with times of refreshing.
The message of the Kingdom of God is for the brokenhearted. Life has dealt blow after blow. Relationships have broken down. Spouses, children, relatives, friends have died but there is One who sticks closer than a brother, One who will not let you down, One who will never leave you nor forsake you, who loves you.
The message of the Kingdom of God is for
The message of the Kingdom of God is
The message of the Kingdom of God is for the blind: Physical illnesses and any other kind of ailments. I was blind but now I see
The message of the Kingdom of God is for The message of the Kingdom of God is for The message of the Kingdom of God is for
The message of the Kingdom of God is
The message of the Kingdom of God is for everyone. T
Jesus came to bring the message of the Kingdom of God where all is right as rain, where there are no physical, spiritual, emotional or mental limitations, where God will rule with justice and equity. Notice that Jesus said that these words were fulfilled in their hearing. This is no waiting till you die promises but a reality that can start now.
Of course, we will find ourselves being opposed as indeed Jesus was in this very passage. The message of hope was soundly rejected by the people of Nazareth.
rs.
Dostoevsky said, “Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honour those whom they have slain.”
But there are always those who will respond. In our proclamation there will be receivers and there will be rejecters. But we will not know who is who without making the message known. For those who reject the message, just as the Nazarenes did, they need to keep on reading the rest of which says that following the acceptable year of the Lord is a day of vengeance of our God, which is as yet, still future, so there is still time to repent. But if you won’t receive His favour you’ll receive His wrath instead.
Isaiah 61:2 NKJV
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
If you won’t receive His favour you’ll receive His wrath instead.
What was the problem with the Nazarenes? Jesus would not be accepted as anyone other than one they knew already and they would not receive the good news. But, Jesus, said, this is nothing new. With both Elijah and Elisha they were sent to those outside of the community. The point? The Nazarenes thought they were the chosen ones of God but God has a different perspective on it. The Nazarenes were their own community, there on a hilltop, above everyone else, in need of no one else and certainly not going to help anyone else. They were isolated and insular but the message that Jesus brings means that we are not called to be inward looking but outward.
After this event Jesus moved His base of operations to Capernaum after somehow walking through the angry mob like a man with an invisible cloak on or being such an ordinary man they did not even see Him pass through. This must have been a very sad time for Jesus for His own people whom He had known a long time rejected Him even to the point of wanting to murder Him. They did not realise that God incarnate, God in flesh had visited them and they missed their opportunity.
We might be cosy right now but I certainly do not want to leave you feeling that way just as Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He spoke. He knew they would be angry and would offend them. Will you be offended now by these words?
Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Luke (Vol. 26, p. 92). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.But we will not know who is who without making the message known. After this event Jesus moved His base of operations to Capernaum.
The call of the Church is to do what Jesus would do if He were walking our streets today. The call of the Church is to reach out to all who are poor, oppressed, down-trodden, sick, blind, and to those in prison and declare that God’s favour is not just for us for them too. The call of the Church is to reach out to young people whose values we abhor and to show that they are valuable to God. The call of the Church is to reach out to those young women who have two children by two different fathers and are pregnant again. The call of the Church is to say to those who are depressed, to those who would take their own lives, to those who plaster themselves with make-up that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. The call of the Church is to all people no matter what our opinion is of them and their opinion of us. The call of the Church is to....now you fill in the blanks for the call of the Church is the call upon you. The call of the Church means that you are anointed by His Spirit to do the things Jesus did and because of your obedience many will come to faith in Him.
As we read through the Gospel of Luke we find that Jesus does indeed fulfil all the things He came to do. Now we are His hands and feet.
[I’m going to play a video of a drama sketch. It is in an American Church and a little excitable but I really want us to get the gist of the message being put over. Some of the words are not entirely clear but I hope the sense of it will come home and have a lasting effect upon our attitudes and prayers and actions.]

Bibliography

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Beitzel, B. J., & Lyle, K. A. (Eds.). (2016). Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Bovon, F., & Koester, H. (2002). : a commentary on the Gospel of . Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Elwell, W. A. (1995). Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Freedman, D. N., Herion, G. A., Graf, D. F., Pleins, J. D., & Beck, A. B. (Eds.). (1992). In The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday.
Hughes, R. K. (1998). Luke: that you may know the truth. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Luke (Vol. 26). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.
Robertson, A. T. (2009). A Harmony of the Gospels. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Scofield, C. I. (Ed.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.
Trites, A. A., William J. Larkin. (2006). Cornerstone biblical commentary, Vol 12: The Gospel of Luke and Acts. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:11 19 August 2017.
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