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Summary: Jesus preached his first sermon in his hometown and when he finished they decided to kill him.

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HomeComing in Nazareth

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2007

Dr. Paul G. Humphrey

A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.

The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

from Christianstories.com

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That is a sermon that I’ll bet nobody forgot for some time to come. This morning we are looking at a sermon from Jesus that I’ll bet nobody in Nazareth forgot for a long time either.

LK 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. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

LK 4:18 "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,

LK 4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."

LK 4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

LK 4:22 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.

LK 4:23 Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: `Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ "

LK 4:24 "I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 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. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 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."

LK 4:28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 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. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

This was Jesus’ first sermon that he ever gave to his home town, and when he finished, nobody said, “good sermon preacher,” rather, they decided to kill him.

The reception of a sermon is kind of unpredictable. The Lord works in marvelous ways through them.

I remember the first sermon that I ever gave. It was not a bad sermon, but my conclusion was a bit lacking. I closed by saying, “that’s all I’ve got.”


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