Summary: This message examines Jesus’ experience when He returned to is hometown of Nazareth.
There is something unique about visiting your hometown after being gone for a while. As you drive through and visit those familiar places from your childhood you experience a flood of different emotions. I have to tell you from experience that it is very strange. You experience a very strange mixture of nostalgia, celebration and frustration. Although it is your hometown, it just doesn’t feel the same. As you encounter relatives, childhood friends and people that knew you as you were growing up the frustration often becomes more magnified. They remember you as the person you were then not the person you have become. They remember you in those awkward moments of growing up. In fact it seems as though your flaws become magnified as you reminisce. The simple truth is this, you are not the same person, you have grown up, and you have been shaped by the experiences and trials of adulthood. So although it feels good to go home again, we must accept the reality that it will never be the same because we are not the same. Without a doubt Jesus had a similar experience as He returns to His hometown after being gone for a while. He’s been actively involved in ministry, He’s been tempted by Satan, turned water into wine and healed many diseases. His reputation as a great teacher and miracle worker has made the headlines. However, in the eyes of the people in Nazareth He is still Joseph’s boy who they remember hanging around the carpenter shop. This is what causes the tension, they people would love to see a hometown boy do well, but they cannot picture Him as the Messiah. Today, as we look at this text we will discover that this experience teaches us a lot about Jesus and just maybe something about ourselves.
I. Jesus upon His return to Galilee found Himself in great demand.
A. The Spirit leads Jesus back to Galilee to begin His teaching ministry there.
1. Jesus having just won a major victory over Satan in the wilderness returns to Galilee.
2. This passage leaves little doubt that the Holy Spirit played a major role in directing Jesus’ life and ministry.
3. Luke doesn’t fill us in on the details that happened in between His temptation in the wilderness and return to Galilee but the other Gospel writers do.
4. In fact John includes three major events that took place during this interim period.
a. Jesus changing water to wine.
b. Jesus cleansing the temple.
c. Jesus ministering in Samaria.
5. Just considering the events that happened in the interim recorded by John it is no wonder that the word about Him is spreading.
B. As Jesus taught throughout Galilee His reputation and popularity grew.
1. Jesus regularly attended worship and taught in the various synagogues.
2. During the exile after the temple had been destroyed synagogues popped up as a place of worship on the Sabbath and a school for young boys during the week.
3. If a community had at least ten families then they were able to have a Synagogue. Each synagogue would have one leader and one assistant.
4. Often the synagogue leader would invite a visiting rabbi to read Scripture and teach. Considering the fact Jesus was travelling throughout the area preaching and doing miracles, He would have been a very popular guest speaker.
II. Jesus caused quite the stir as He taught in His home town of Nazareth.
A. As a part of His Galilean speaking tour Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth.
1. The village of Nazareth was the village in which He was raised and apparently His family still lived there.
2. The village of Nazareth sat in the hilly area of southern Galilee close to the crossroads of an important trade route.
3. The people of Nazareth would have had contact with people from all over and without a doubt news had reached them about all Jesus had been doing.
4. By His presence in the synagogue He shows that He continued the piety that was first modeled in His parents.
5. When word reached the synagogue leader that Jesus was back home in Nazareth He probably extended an invitation for Him to come and speak in light of His growing popularity.
B. It is not Jesus’ teaching that upsets the people of Nazareth but the Messianic claim He makes.
1. Jesus stands up to read the Scriptures as was customary in His day and then is handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. What we do not know for sure if Jesus chose the Isaiah 61 passage or if it was the one assigned for that particular day.
2. Jesus’ commentary on the passage is brief and to the point, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” This claim He is making is absolutely huge.