Summary: People in general do not like to be reminded of their short-comings.
Luke 4: 21 - 30
Intro: An older lady sat in the worship service of a little Presbyterian Church in a quaint southern town. The pastor was preaching against all sorts of sins from gambling to murder and everything in between. When the pastor started on the sin of gossiping, the old lady sat bolt-upright in the pew and exclaimed loud enough for everyone to hear saying: “Now he’s left preaching and taken to meddling.”
I VS 22 – All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.
A The word translated here as “amazed” is taumazein in Greek. It has various translations: “astonishment coupled with criticism, doubt or censure” OR “admiration coupled with unexpected pleasure.”
B The context suggests that the people of Nazareth were impressed with Jesus.
C It is just the words of Jesus that impress the people. They have a case of mistaken identity. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
II VSS. 25 – 27 Jesus changes the perception of the people by confronting them.
A Why antagonism? The people see Jesus as Joseph’s son and not the Son of God.
B Jesus delivers a severe “tongue-lashing.” He reminds those gathered that because of the reluctance of the Jews to follow God’s leading, God used non-Jews.
C These well-known stories aggravate and enrage the people, reminding them that God had ignored the plight of the Jews because they would not listen or obey.
III VSS. 28 – 29 “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 off the cliff.
A In the eyes of the people of Nazareth, Jesus has gone from preaching to meddling in their lives.
B Like the people of Nazareth, we don’t like to be reminded of our short-comings.
C Mouthing God’s word will not accomplish the will of God any more than reading the Bible or coming to church will change the world.
Concl: Christ Jesus came to dismantle the status quo, demolish stereotypes and bring good news to the captives. Whether we admit it or not, WE are captives: we are captive to our comfort zone, captive to fear of failure, and captive to religious and social boundaries. This text shows that the fulfillment of scripture is challenging and frightening to those who are incapable of including and identifying with the marginalized outsider.