Summary: God had chosen to work with the nation of Israel and yet they refused to do as God asked.
And Yet . . . / Luke 4: 21 – 30
Intro: There was once a family that owned a treasure that had been handed down from one generation to another for decades. It was a genuine antique Tiffany vase. It was kept on the mantel in the living room as a special object of enjoyment. One day when the lady of the house came home, she was greeted by her daughter. The daughter said, “Mamma, you know that vase you told us has been passed down from generation to generation?” Her mother acknowledged that she did in fact know the vase. Her daughter then said, “Mamma, this generation just dropped it.” This generation has dropped a lot of things like values, standards and attitudes.
I. Vs. 22 -“Is this not Joseph’s son?” - traditionally, this verse has been viewed as the division point between the acceptance and rejection of Jesus.
A. The problem is focusing on this question is taking things out of context. Go back and look at the beginning of the verse, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.”
B. Jesus had said nothing that offended them. Jesus says, “I am the focus of this promise from God. The spirit of God is upon ME in a unique way. I have been authorized to act in power – to heal, to give sight, to proclaim the gospel of God, salvation itself is near.
C. Cautiously, the people responded, hoping beyond hope that Jesus was right; waiting for Jesus to tell them how he was going to raise an army and sound the call to arms to begin the rebellion against the Romans. Jesus has them in the palm of his hand and then . . .
II. In the very next verse, Jesus begins a confrontation of the congregation. It is Jesus who changes the tenor of the encounter. In verses 23 – 27, Jesus recounts historical events depicting the reluctance of the Jews to follow God’s leading and how God used others to accomplish His will.
A. Why this antagonism? Why does Jesus deliver such a stinging tongue lashing by reminding the people of their foolish behavior in the past and how God chose another path to accomplish God’s goal? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE
B. Remember when – roof on church was leaking only on one side. – Remember when? – Now the other side is leaking. Remember when this congregation embarked on a study and yet did nothing with it?
C. People don’t like to be reminded of their hardness of heart or their lack of action – READ VS. 28-29.
III. The people of Jesus’ hometown read the Scriptures as promises of God’s exclusive covenant with them, a covenant that involved promises of deliverance from the oppressors.
A. Jesus uses the events of vss 23 - 27 to illustrate that they didn’t have a special claim on God – God is not our “errand-boy” He is telling the people that they cannot just sit around on their hands waiting for God to deliver them.
B. God’s goodness goes out to all who are eager and receptive not those who feel they have cornered the market on God and wait for God to do all the work.
C. To receive the goodness and bounty of God, we must be willing to say, YES LORD! AMEN! SO MAY IT BE! AND THEN ACT! Mouthing the words will not accomplish the will of God anymore than just reading the Bible will change the world.
Conclusion – Know that the promises of God are for you and may come to you and I in ways we do not expect or may not be willing to accept. We must be willing to act, willing to do, willing to serve, willing to give, willing to nurture, willing to set aside your own agenda and seek the good of others. God is calling us to move forward in ministry. Vs. 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.” Jesus never returned to his hometown again!