Summary: 3 of 4. The congregation at Nazareth would not believe Jesus’ ability to fulfill Scripture’s mandate for the Messiah. Religiosity thinks it absurd that Jesus can save, &/or is Messiah. But what results from such a stance? Disabling Jesus produces...
DISABLING JESUS-III—Luke 4:22-30
‘Back in the day’ when I was an arrogant atheistic teenager I would occasionaly pick up a copy of the magazine National Lampoon.
It was a spin-off of The Harvard Lampoon, a magazine giving birth to much of the trashy-immoral ‘comedy’ which is so prevalent today.
National Lampoon presented a comedic pseudo-intellectual look at life & current issues.
One of their regular features was a comic-book-like series called “Son O God.’ A caricature which was an entire perversion of an anemic Christ.
The series brazenly Disabled Jesus’ true identity for all who read the magazine.
The congregation at Nazareth(hometown synagogue) would not believe Jesus’ ability to fulfill Scripture’s mandate for the Messiah.
Religiosity thinks it implausible/absurd to believe that Jesus can save that He is Messiah.
What is produced upon holding/viewing Jesus as absurd?
8 fruits/assessments of disabling Jesus.
We previously found that:
Disabling Jesus produces...
2. FAMILIARIZED BLINDNESS(:22b)
3. BLIND DISDAIN(:23a)
4. INCONCLUSIVE PROOF(:23b)
5. REJECTION Of REALITY(:24)
6— Disabling Jesus produces...
FORFEITURE Of FAVOR(:25-27)
Explanation: (:25-27)Move beyond/Bypass you
“25—““But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years & six months, & 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.”
Again Jesus says that what follows He speaks “in truth”(somberly/solemnly).
Jesus relates 2 instances of God’s grace being extended/offered to those outside the “commonweath of Israel”(:25-26, 27) The offers are given solely because those who should have accepted Him disregarded Him or were unresponsive to Him or were undeserving of Him.
Though “many widows” were present in Israel in Elijah’s day, God chose to send His prophet to a widow in Sidon’s Zarephath. A heathen & Gentile place & people.(1Kgs. 17:8-16; 17-24). None were worthy of God’s grace in the Northern kingdom of Israel. They would not have been drawn to Elijah’s ministry. They were too self-satisfied & self-noble without the true God.
Any such long-lasting drought would have produced many “widows.” But Elijah’s was a time when Ahab & Jezebel ruled. Ahab is described in 1Kgs. 16:30-33 as provoking the LORD to anger more than all the previous kings of Israel. He married a Sidonian princess named Jezebel. They served Baal & encouraged Israel to as well.
“....the only way she[the widow] would ever know that the God of Israel would give her all she would ever need was if she took what she had in her poverty & trusted him with it. She did.”—John MacArthur
The widow had never heard of Elijah or maybe had never met him or maybe she had heard of him...but isn’t that the point?! She had probably never heard of him or perhaps she had, but this widow—unlike the congregation at worship—thru faith turned over her entire life, & the life of her son, to Elijah the man of God!
Sidonian Widow of Zarephath:
1Kgs. 17:8-16; 17-24—“Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, & dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose & went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her & said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her & said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, & a little oil in a jar; & see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in & prepare it for myself & my son, that we may eat it, & die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go & do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, & bring it to me; & afterward make some for yourself & your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” So she went away & did according to the word of Elijah; & she & he & her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.”” “Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, & to kill my son?” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms & carried him to the upper room where he was staying, & laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the LORD & said, “O LORD my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” And he stretched himself out on the child three times, & cried out to the LORD & said, “O LORD my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” Then the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; & the soul of the child came back to him, & he revived. And Elijah took the child & brought him down from the upper room into the house, & gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, & that the word of the LORD in your mouth is the truth.””