Summary: Living as a Christian is not all about me. It is all about serving others in the name of Christ.
Luke 4: 14 – 21 Its Not All About You
Intro: Jimmy Carter told the American people during his campaign, “I’ll never lie to you, I’ll never mislead you, I’ll never dodge a controversial issue.” His mother, Miss Lillian was being interviewed by a reporter who pressed her hard asking if Jimmy had ever told a lie. “Well, maybe a little white lie,” Lillian replied. “What do you classify as a white lie,” asked the reporter. Miss Lillian responded, “Do you remember when you cam in and I told you how pretty you looked and how glad I was to see you . . . ?” --- Not exactly what the reporter wanted to hear but it was the truth.
I. Home. --- The place we come from and the place we idealize in our mind.
A. Galilee comes from the root word “galil” meaning circle. It was an area surrounded by non-Jews. The Galileans were the most forward thinking, least conservative of Jews. The population was nearly 3 million.
B. The Jewish historian says of them, “They were ever ready to follow a leader who would begin an insurrection. They were quick in temper and give to quarreling.” (“The Gospel of Luke” by William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia.)
C. To these people Jesus preaches. Read verses 14 & 15 – The people praised him. --- Jesus knew the people wanted to hold onto their safe, predictable, quaint history and traditions. Afterall, they were “the chosen people.”
II. They knew their place, they knew what God intended. They knew what they were doing and who they were. And we are the same.
A. An incident took place off the coast of Newfoundland between the US navy and Canadian officials. The captain of the vessel was given information they were on a collision course so he had a message sent ordering the Canadians to avert a collision by turning 15° to the north. The Canadians radioed back for the ship to divert by turning 15° to the South. --- The angered captain radioed back, “This is the USS Missouri, the largest warship in the US Navy ordering you to divert.” The answer came back. “Well, this is a Canadian lighthouse. Your call.” (A New Start In Galilee by Klaus Gutwein, SermonCentral.com)
B. Verses 18 – 19 The passage Jesus read from Isaiah was one familiar to every Jew. It was Isaiah 61: 1 – 2, words from a beloved prophet, words of comfort and hope, words which declared a time of great celebration and joy for God’s people. --- as they heard the words read, images would certainly have formed in the people’s mind about God’s promise and presence with them. Thinking of themselves as God’s special, chosen people.
C. Surrounded as they were by non-Jews, knowing the history of God’s actions on their behalf in the past, they would be expecting Jesus to speak to them about their uniqueness, their position of favor in the eyes of God and how one day, God would restore them to prominence as a great nation.
III. Jesus was “at home.” Home, those four letters cause for some floods of positive memories of laughter, family dinners, and a simpler time.
A. When you go away from home for more than a visit or some kind of short trip, you are changed. We grow, mature gain new insight and make new friends. And when we do go home, everyone expects the same person to return who went away. What the people expected of Jesus, they did not get.
B. After reading the scroll and handing it back to the officer and sat down. But what the words the people expected to hear never came. Instead Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
C. Where’s the evidence that the blind receive sight, the poor hear good news, the oppressed are liberated? Where? Show me!!!! We might ask the same questions. When people go to bed hungry, children as mistreated, people can’t find a decent place to live, when violence continues in the Middle East, how can we believe the promise of Jesus is being fulfilled?
Conclu: The answer is this: The promise of Jesus is fulfilled when we remember that it isn’t all about us! --- We are not here to receive the blessings of God without responsibilities. The good news will be preached to the poor when we preach it. Freedom will be proclaimed to the prisoners when we proclaim it. Recovery of sight and release of the oppressed will only come through us. It isn’t about us! It is about what we are called by God to do for and with them!