Jesus Your Home Town Boy to preach (Luke 4:14-30). Jesus was nearly an overnight success. Within a very short time Jesus was the phenom rabbi praised by everyone. He was invited to preach at synagogues throughout the entire countryside. He packed the house when he came to town. What made Jesus so different when he came to preach? Why was Jesus successful so quickly? What can we learn from the success Jesus experienced to help us be more successful no matter what our occupation? Luke made certain to tell us when he came to preach.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 4

by Pastor Delbert Young

Jesus Your Home Town Boy to Preach (Luke 4:14-30)

Jesus Your Home Town Boy Jesus Your Home Town Boy to preach (Luke 4:14-30)

Sermon video

audio

Jesus Your Home Town Boy – Luke 4:14-30

Scriptures: Luke 4:14-15; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:16-20; Luke 4:21-22; Luke 4:23-30

I want to talk to you today about when Jesus went back to his hometown. That should be a good thing, right? It wasn’t. After his baptism by John the Baptizer and temptation in the wilderness by the devil, Jesus headed off to begin his ministry. What have you done since your baptism and temp“ations? Interestingly, Luke doesn’t report anything about the first several months of Jesus’ ministry. Luke skipped major events, i.e. “Behold, the Lamb of God” spoken by John the Baptizer. “You must be born again” spoken to Nicodemus and his conversation with the woman at the well – important stuff. Instead, Luke fills in the first several months of the ministry of Jesus in two verses.

Luke 4:14-15 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and NEWS ABOUT HIM SPREAD THROUGH THE WHOLE COUNTRYSIDE. He taught in their synagogues, and EVERYONE PRAISED HIM.

Jesus was nearly an overnight success. Within a very short time Jesus was the phenom rabbi praised by everyone. He was invited to preach at synagogues through the whole countryside. He packed the house when he came to town.

What made Jesus so different? Why was Jesus successful so quickly? What can we learn from the success Jesus experienced to help us be more successful no matter what our occupation? Luke made certain to tell us.

Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT…

Every ministry should operate IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT. Jesus was a Spirit filled preacher functioning in power, but shouldn’t you be a Spirit filled business owner, or a Spirit filled employee, or a Spirit filled mom, or a Spirit filled dad, or a Spirit filled student?

Luke refuses to leave you alone when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit (1:41). Zechariah was filled with the Spirit (1:67). The Holy Spirit came upon Mary (1:35). John the Baptizer was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb which made him great (1:15). The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon the old prophet (2:25). John said Jesus would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (3:16). The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at his water baptism. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (3:22; 4:1). Now, Jesus’ success is attributed to his operation in the power of the Spirit. Luke is intense about the necessity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How intense are you? How intense are your children? How intense are your friends?

What does in the power of the Spirit mean? Power is the Greek word dunamis {doo’-nam-is}and means inherent power. We might say “dynamo.” It’s asking the Spirit of God what to do and what to say rather than simply doing what I want to do and say what I want to say. It’s not only about “religious” and “spiritual” things. It’s asking the Holy Spirit to lead and help us with everything – family, occupation, marriage, finances, problems, school, everything and then doing and going after what you believe he says. Too often I’m powered by my own desires and thoughts and not by the Holy Spirit. That’s when I mess up. If you asked God what your driving force is, what would he say – money, greed, lust, addictions, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. If the Holy Spirit truly led you and powered you, how far could you go? Students, if the Holy Spirit led you and powered you in school how well could you do? How different would you be?

Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, WHERE HE HAD BEEN BROUGHT UP, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, AS WAS HIS CUSTOM. And he stood up to read.

Jesus, the hometown boy who became the rabbi phenom was coming home to preach and Nazareth was buzzing. Everyone knew Jesus, Joseph’s son. So it’s announced: “Jesus of Nazareth will be here next Sabbath.” The emails went out. Newsletters sent. Blogs posted. Facebook posts. Text sent. Sabbath came and the synagogue filled.

Jesus, the Son of God went into the synagogue, AS WAS HIS CUSTOM. If Jesus felt assembling was important, do you think it should be important to us? I’m preaching to the choir. You’re here, but isn’t it amazing how many Christians don’t feel attending church is important. It was habitually important to Jesus.

This was Jesus’ “home church.” It’s where he went all his life until the last few months. Can you imagine how it would be for the pastor to preach with Jesus sitting in the congregation? You are attempting to teach the word while the Word made flesh is looking at you! I thought about that. If Jesus is here among us, then I do that every week.

He’s now Rabbi Jesus which was a high honor requiring much study and preparation, which would be difficult in Nazareth. Nazareth was a small community then. According to archeology, it had one well, so maybe a hundred people lived there if that. There was one synagogue meaning only one set of scriptures in the entire town. They were cherished and locked away. Jesus had to make a way to learn and prepare himself.

This is what’s called “the 10,000 hour rule.” It says to be world class at anything requires 10,000 hours of preparation. Jesus was definitely world class and availed himself to learn. He put the time in. Young people, and older people, take time to learn and prepare well. Get the 10,000 hours necessary to be world class. I’ve talked about this before, but it deserves another mention. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to learn. When young, the mind is a sponge. It absorbs everything – sounds, words, technology, music, everything. At forty, the mind is more like a block of wood. You must pound or drill stuff into it. By the time you’re sixty, unless you work hard at it as I’ve tried, the mind becomes more like a brick. Maybe you can drill something in without it cracking, but you never know. Prepare young. It’s easier. Get your 10,000 hours and be world class at whatever you do.

Luke 4:16-20 And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS ON ME, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the POOR. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the PRISONERS and recovery of sight for the BLIND, to release the OPPRESSED, to proclaim the YEAR of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.

Rabbi Jesus asked for a specific scroll to use to preach and teach. He selected a text, stood to read, probably the people stood as well, then everyone set, including Jesus, to expound. I tried sitting, but I get too comfortable, too slow, and put myself to sleep. I let you sit and as I stand to expound.

Isaiah is a large sixty-six chapter scroll, except then the scriptures were not divided into chapters (not until 1200’s) and verses (not until 1500’s). Scriptures were written on parchment rolled on two pins. Jesus scrolled (and scrolled) to what we call Isaiah 61:1-2. It’s a messianic passage well known by them revealing the purpose of the Messiah. It lays out the ministry of the Messiah.

Jesus came to preach to the poor. It is those spiritually poor, but it’s those financially poor also. Maybe we can relate it to those who’ve not been successful and failed in life. So, who would this be in our areas? Who would Jesus want to preach to in LaFayette, Summerville, Ringgold, Rock Spring, Rising Fawn (Walker, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Whitefield counties), etc? Who comes to your mind? Do you know people who are maybe unsuccessful and failures in life? Are they here?

The Messiah would proclaim freedom for the prisoners – those literally in prison, but definitely those imprisoned by sin. The Jews awaited the Messiah to come and free them from Rome. Jesus would do better than that. He would free people from the prison of sin – addictions, racism, compulsions, etc. Who would these be in your life and our areas? Are they here?

He would recover the sight for the blind. He literally did that for some, but will do it for any by being the light of the world, stopping people from stumbling around in their darkness, and showing how to maneuver through life successfully. Do you know anyone stumbling around in life going from ditch to ditch?

He would release the oppressed – demon possessed, and depraved. We might have a difficult time if those came to our church. Most churches would. When they have come or do come, I get phone calls and questioned. Do you know any people who might be demon possessed, oppressed, and depraved? What should we do for them? Do we avoid them, or work to release them? Are they here?

The year of the Lord’s favor was supposed to be a year of Jubilee – a time when everyone’s debts were expunged and people began over (Lev 25:10). Jesus said he came to help people do just that. Who do you know needing a fresh start? Are they here?

So, it was “those kinds of people,” not the rich and famous, Jesus came to preach and reach and help. Here’s a question. How do we do, how do you do, with the poor failures, the prisoners to sin (addicted), the blind stumbling through life, the oppressed and possessed, and those desperately needing a new start? Are those Jesus came to preach and reach all middle class white Americans who have a pretty good life? Of course they are not. “Those kinds of people” are the cast outs of life, but look around. They must be white middle class Americans who have a pretty good life. That’s basically all that are here. I do believe we accept, love, preach, and minister to cast outs as well as any church around, but would Jesus preach this to us?

Here’s the point. Jesus selected his text not only to proclaim himself Messiah, but to tell those at Nazareth they were not reaching the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the oppressed/possessed, and those who needed a fresh start. Also, it was to them he was PREACHING! Meaning they were the poor failures, imprisoned by sin, blind stumbling through life, oppressed, and needing a new start.

Those at Nazareth thought they knew the hometown boy Jesus, but Jesus did know Nazareth. He knew the attitude of the entire Jewish religious system. They didn’t want those kinds of people around. Their religion rejected, hated, and despised those kinds of people. We think we know Jesus, but he does know Life Gate and he does know you and me. How do you do with “those kinds” of people?

Luke 4:21-22 The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and HE BEGAN by saying to them, “TODAY THIS SCRIPTURE IS FULFILLED IN YOUR HEARING.” 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.

What was fulfilled in your hearing? That Jesus was anointed by the Spirit to preach to the poor, imprisoned, blind, oppressed, and those needing a new start even if he meant them, but notice something. I have been taught and always thought Jesus lost his audience when he said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” pointing to himself as Messiah, but it wasn’t. They were turned on, not off. “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” There sat his family, relatives, old friends, people he grew up with and everyone was amazed by him. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They were saying, “We’re so proud. We helped raise him you know.” “He came over to our house.” “He fixed my roof.” “He’s my cousin.” “He’s my brother.” “He and his dad added my new bedroom on my house.” “Wow! He’s become an amazing preacher!”

But, that was just how he began his sermon. At this point they loved Jesus, but he was just beginning. His intention was not to impress with gracious words from his lips. His intention was to offend in hopes they would see who he is and who they are. Before I go on, if Jesus himself were to come here to preach, what do you think he would say? Would it be only gracious words from his lips, or do you think he might offend us?

Luke 4:23-30 Jesus said to them, “Surely YOU will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! {EXCLAMATION MARK} Do here in YOUR HOMETOWN what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ I tell YOU the truth,” he continued, “NO PROPHET IS ACCEPTED IN HIS HOMETOWN .” 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. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 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.” ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE WERE FURIOUS WHEN THEY HEARD THIS. 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 down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and WENT ON HIS WAY.

What in the world happened? Rabbi Jesus went from words of honey to HELL FIRE ANDBRIMSTONE! He went from “them” and “those people” – third person plural – to “YOU” – second person singular with exclamation! Why did Jesus provoke them to an uncontrolled frenzy of fury? His own friends and relatives wanted to kill him.

Here it is. They thought they were “special.” They figured Jesus would come and do some miracles and heal everyone because he was their BOY. Jesus said it ain’t gonna happen. You don’t accept me as a prophet. To you, I’m your “little Jesus.”

No matter whom you are, Jesus will not allow you to simply sit as he speaks gracious words of honey over you. He will make you decide who he is. He refuses to be your home boy. Jesus is Lord and that’s it. He will challenge you even if it means you want to kill him. Jesus was and is on a mission to help the failures become successes, set the prisoners free from what holds them, help those stumbling around life in their blindness, release the oppressed and demon possessed, and help people get a fresh start. If we are not into those things, he is upset with us no matter how well we think we know him because the truth of the matter is we don’t know him at all.

They tried to put Jesus in a limitation box of familiarity. We today, attempt to squeeze God, the creator of the universe, into our personal box. When he doesn’t perform for us, we get upset. I’ve heard people say they were mad at God. Don’t do that. Nazareth got mad at Jesus and he never came back. What we are doing is limiting God in our life, our family, our marriage, our finances, our occupation, our areas, everything. We’ve all grown up believing we know who Jesus is. In reality, we are seeing him as our hometown boy who became a big success. Jesus is saying to us all today he’s not your buddy. He’s your Lord and savior.

I don’t have time to exegete all he said about the widow in Zarephath, or Naaman the Syrian. I will give you the jest. Neither were Jews and both were despised by the Jews. They were gentiles who worshiped foreign gods of Baal and Ashtaroth. Elijah was sent to a pagan widow woman in the time of famine to bless her rather than to a Jewish widow. Of all the Jewish lepers in Israel, God had Elisha heal Naaman a Syrian terrorist commander who killed and hated Jews. Here’s the point: God might work miracles and heal people who don’t know him at all, who worship strange gods before he will do miracles and heal people who consider him their hometown boy.

Was Jesus saying those religious, circumcised the eighth day, children of Abraham, church going, right wing Republicans who thought they knew Jesus were worse in the eyes of God than a pagan widow and a leprous Syrian terrorist? How does it read to you?

It was a hard in-your-face sermon obviously elevating to great intensity bringing those at Nazareth to a place of wanting to kill the preacher. How do you respond to hard sermons?

Luke 4:28-30 All the people in the synagogue were FURIOUS WHEN THEY HEARD THIS. 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 down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and WENT ON HIS WAY.

I’ve made some people upset and mad when I preached, but obviously I haven’t done as good a job as I should. Religious people would rather kill the messenger than adjust to who Jesus actually is. I’ll close with this question and thought. How did their concept of Jesus being the hometown boy work out for them? They knew Jesus. They watched him grow into a man. They heard him speak, but most likely they went to hell. There is no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth. Today Nazareth is primarily a Muslim city. God said if you want a hometown god, I’ll give you a hometown god. What do we want? Do we want a Lord and Savior, or a hometown boy?

Familiarity is dangerous. Familiarity may have cost those people their eternity. There was God himself speaking to people and they could not see him or hear him. Do we? They wanted to see a miracle. They did. Jesus walked right through the crowed and went on HIS WAY never to return again to those who thought they knew him.

Other Related Sermons:

Greed – How to be a Successful Fool – video audio notes Luke 12:10-21

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

 

mahalo/answers/who-originally-came-up-with-the-ten-years-or-10000-hours-to-become-an-expert-claim;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)