Summary: Part 1 of 2 when Jesus returs home for the first time after wilderness and he is acts as expeced until he gets to church.
I have often her the phrase “ you can never go home again.” I have been trying to figure out if I believe it or not. I find lots of proof that it is true but I have lots of feelings that it is not true.
Here is what I am thinking about. I believe that all of us have gone away from home as some point. Some went away to college or the military or into the world and started to work and raise a family on their own.
When you go away for something more that a visit or a trip of some kind, you become changed. We get an education and experiences that are different than everyone back home. We grow and mature and get new friends. We become more independent and truly make decisions about and for ourselves.
When we go home everyone tends to expect the same person that went away. They feel that everything around the house and the neighborhood is the same as when you left. They expect certain things of you when you come back.
Depending on the circumstances, they may be full of pride, knowing that you have been working hard on your education….
Sometimes people come back because their life is messed up. The people again look at you expecting the same person, but everyone who goes away comes back changed for the good or bad. They are changed.
The question , Can you come home again?
In today’s Scripture lesson Jesus ends up in the synagogue that he grew up in. Pretty much every body knows him there. He has been gone for a while. We know that he went to Jerusalem and ended up out by the river and was baptized by John. He receives the Holy Spirit. Then Luke records the Genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam. I am not going to give you a definition of this list except that it does not match Matthew except on a couple of points and that it seem the importance of going all the way back to Adam would clearly open the kingdom of God to all of mankind.
After baptism Jesus goes into the wilderness and fast for 40 days and when he is his weakest Satan tempts him. He does not give in to Satan’s offers and heads home. According to Luke he returned to Galilee in the power of the spirit and people learned about him.
The phrase sounds a little odd, traveling in the power. Almost sounds like a car or something. Something you drive or maybe more like a bus where it drives you. Then the news spreading about him in the whole countryside sounds a little strange, how could the people tell. I believe all that clears up with the next verse.
The reason the people knew about him and that he was in the spirit is because he went to worship in church were ever he was because it was his custom. It is always what he did on the Sabbath. Most of us can relate to that, we worship our God on the Sabbath where ever we are. I know many of you do the same thing because you bring me copies of other church bulletins as your permission slip to come back to your class.
Last Sunday when Renee and I were missing we were at another church. The pastor was a friend of ours. We went in just a couple of minutes late, because when I go to other churches if I get there early they tend to invite me to say a prayer or want to introduce me. I find it embarrassing.
You know how our church works but you may not know how the synagogue works. So let me give you a quick over view.
To have a synagogue service required the presence of ten adult males. There were no priest there. It was a lay led service. At the service, the Shema was recited ,
Deuteronomy 6 (Shema - Call to Worship)
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Then came several prayers, including some set prayers like we say the Lord’s prayer. Tephillah - Intercessory prayer and the Eighteen Benedictions said silently standing facing Jerusalem. (Praise to God , repentance, healing, call for the messiah).