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Our Response to Jesus of Nazareth Lk 4;14-30 050607

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Our Response to Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 4:14-30)

 

Intro: How we respond in life is an important thing!

                    ILL: When the new preacher arrived at the church, the former minister gave him three sealed envelopes, numbered 1, 2, 3. "Open these in order," he said, "if you run into any difficulties here." Things went fine for five years, then big conflict, so the discouraged preacher opened the first envelope. One sheet of paper. Two words: "Blame me." So he did. -- he blamed his predecessor and the conflict died down. Things went fine another 3 years, another conflict, so the preacher opened the second envelope. One sheet of paper. Two words: "Blame Brotherhood." So he did -- he blamed the lack of unity and community for the problem and the conflict died down. Another three years, and now the biggest conflict of all (a real bruhaha), so the  fed up minister opened the third envelope. One sheet of paper. Three words: "Prepare three envelopes."

                    Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we respond to what happens to us. Charles Swindoll

                    Nothing is more important than our response to Jesus.

                    Background: We move from Jesus’ birth, His formative years, and His preparation for ministry – that is His baptism and the temptation. We move from all this to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. His ministry begins in Galilee and at this time Jesus is 30 years old. Chapter 4:14-44 is a three-part introduction to Jesus ministry. Today we will be looking at the first two parts of this introduction.

                    Read Luke 4:14-15 - These first two verses are a summary of Jesus ministry. They tell us Where Jesus Ministered – Galilee. They tell us how he went – in the power of the Holy Spirit. They tell us what Jesus did when He went -Taught in the synagogues. These verses tell us what the initial response was to Jesus – Glorified by all.

                    But I want us to focus on the rest of this passage because it gives an example of Jesus preaching. And it also shows us how the people responded to Jesus preaching. Read Luke 4:16-30

 

1.       Jesus’ preaching demanded a response (4:16-21, 23-27) Why???

a.        Jesus preached with Authority

b.       Jesus preached about His own Identity

c.        Jesus preached about Forgiveness of sin and Freedom from bondage to sin

d.       Jesus preached to Expose the true condition of the heart

ILL: She stood with a frown on her face, while the rest of the churchgoers shuffled out the door.  The preacher was taken aback.  The sermon had seemed to go well.  For once, he hadn’t tripped over his tongue or chased some rabbit trail.  Yet the woman wouldn’t let him off the hook.

“I’ve wanted to ask that question for some time,” she said.  “As you know, I come to church just about every week.  I have heard a lot of interesting sermons, and learned some things about the Bible that I never knew before I began coming to this church.  But today, I finally found the words to ask you a question that has nagged at the back of my mind.”

“What’s that?” said the minister.

She said, “Preacher, why don’t you tell me what you want me to do?”

App: This is the kind of response we should have to preaching. There ought to be a What Now? Mentality. When the word of God is read and preached there is always a response. The question is, “What kind of a response will we have?”

 

 

2.       The People REsponded to Jesus Preaching (4:21-22, 28-29) 

a.        At first, they were amazed by His preaching. He preached with power, authority, knowledge, wisdom, etc. Part of what amazed them is that they knew who Jesus’ family was and where He lived. He was a hometown boy who had became famous because of his prior ministry in Capernaum.

b.       The people’s initial response was positive on the surface, but in reality their hearts rejected Christ. And their response was truly negative. After the second part of Jesus message to them, they became angry. They were filled with wrath and hostility. They became a lynch mob – chasing down a hill and seeking to execute Him.

c.        This rejection that Jesus faced in Nazareth foreshadowed the ultimate rejection of Him at the cross in Jerusalem just three years later.

d.       Why did they reject Him? Jesus exposed their unbelief and Jesus shared God’s plan to offer forgiveness beyond the Jewish people – even to all the world.

App: If these people responded to Jesus preaching, then we must realize that we all respond to Jesus in some way. Instead of hearing Jesus Himself preach a message, we hear men of God preach the word of God. We also can read the word of God ourselves, and we respond to this. We can also hear from other believers who share the good news of Christ. The message of Christ is out there. The Bible is accessible and available to all, at least in our country. The question is how will we respond.

 

3.       Our Response to Jesus of Nazareth  

a.        Only One response will save a person from their sin

              i.      Faith in Jesus of Nazareth who came, lived, died, and rose again

             ii.      To trust in Jesus is to turn from everything else. Turn from your sin. Turn from good works that you might think will save you. Turn away from false religions. Turn away from man’s philosophies and opinions.

b.       To respond in any other way then faith in Jesus, is to reject Jesus and to reject the salvation that Jesus offers. There are different kinds of rejection.

              i.      Silent – Vocal

             ii.      Passive – Active 

           iii.      Partial – Whole

           iv.      Non-religious – Religious

c.        Why do people reject Jesus?

              i.      Unbelief – I don’t believe it. I believe something else.

             ii.      Pride – I don’t need God. I am good enough. I can make it on my own.

           iii.      Self-pity – woe is me. God can’t save me.

           iv.      Foolishness – unmoved, unthinking, naive

ILL: Did Jesus go back to Nazareth? Last Chance.

App: Don’t Reject Jesus. Receive and Believe in Jesus.

Conclusion: How we respond is important? Just think how different your life would be if your spouse had said no!  Just think how your life would be different if you had said yes at different junctures in your life. How you responded made a difference? Nothing is more important than our response to this Jesus who gave His own life to save sinners like you and me. How will you respond to Him today?

Invitation: The Lost: Believer – If we are in Christ, we are to have an ongoing response to Jesus. We do not get saved all over again, but each day we have to make a choice. Whereas when we were lost, our choice was sin. Our free will was in complete and utter bondage to sin. Even our best choices and seemingly good works, came up short. But now, in Christ, we really do have a daily choice to make. Are we going to respond to the Word of God, The Spirit of God, yes Christ in us, positively. Or, are we going to be stiff-necked people who try to do it on our own. Receive daily grace.

 

Country comedian Jerry Clower once told about a lady he knew down in Amite County.  She lived near a construction site, and workers were putting a tar roof on the building near her house.  This lady had sixteen children--or "young'uns" as Jerry would call them.  One day she lost one of her children. She got to hunting him and discovered he had fallen into a fifty-gallon drum of black roofing tar at the construction site.  She reached down, hauled him up, took a look at him and shoved him back down in that drum of tar.  She said, "Boy, it'd be a lot easier to have another one than to clean you up."

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