Summary: Jesus preaching in his own hometown and in other villages nearby.
Jesus’ Early Sermons
Rev. Phillip A. Wright
I. The Messages of Jesus
A. In a Nazareth Synagogue: Jesus preaches a sermon in his own hometown.
1. The Contents of the Sermon
a. What he reads (4:16-19): He reads from Isaiah 61, where the prophet describes the supernatural ministry of the Messiah.
b. Notice first that it was Jesus’ custom to worship and to meet with God’s people in their house of worship.
c. Where Jesus stopped reading from Isaiah helps show us the nature of prophecy and its relation to time. The passage goes on to describe what Jesus would do at His second coming (and the day of vengeance of our God); this is a 2,000 year old comma.
d. What he says:
i. The Identification (4:20-23): Jesus says he is the Messiah that Isaiah wrote about!
• Jesus identified himself to the towns’ people as being the one who is the fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah.
• They obviously were taken back by this statement. Scripture says they were filled with glory.
• He is correctly identified as Joseph’s son.
ii. He has anointed Me to: The word "anoint" means to rub or sprinkle on; ointment, or oily liquid to. Persons in the Old Testament were often literally anointed with oil. For example, priests were anointed for their special service to the Lord (Exodus 28:41). Literal oil would be applied, but as a sign of the Holy Spirit upon their lives and service. The oil on the head was only the outward representation of the real, spiritual work going on inside them.
iii. In this prophecy, the Messiah announces that He is there to heal the fivefold damage that sin brings. Sin has done great damage, so there needs to be a great work of redemption.
• To preach the gospel to the poor: Sin impoverishes, and the Messiah will bring good news to the poor.
• To heal the brokenhearted: Sin breaks hearts, and the Messiah has good news for brokenhearted.
• To proclaim liberty to the captives: Sin makes people captive and enslaves them, and the Messiah has come to free them.
• Recovery of sight to the blind: Sin blinds us, and the Messiah has come to heal our spiritual and moral blindness.
• To set at liberty those who are oppressed: Sin oppresses its victims, and the Messiah comes to bring liberty to the oppressed.
iv. The Illustrations (4:24-27): Jesus gives two Old Testament examples which illustrate why he cannot perform the miracles in Nazareth that he did elsewhere – namely, their unbelief!
• Elijah and the Zarephath widow (4:24-26).
• 1 Kings 17:9-12 9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." 10 So he arose and 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 and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink." 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." 12 So she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
• Elisha and the leper Naaman (4:27).
• 2 Kings 5:1 NKJ Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.”
• One of the servants in his house was a Hebrew girl and she said there was a prophet in Israel who could heal Naaman.
• Naaman asked his king to intercede and send a letter to the King of Israel. Naaman and his servant went to see the King and then to Elisha.
• Elisha did not even come out to see him rather simply had his servant tell Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan seven times.
• Naaman was angered. Naaman’s servant calmed him, if the prophet had required some great act – he would have done it. SO he washed and was healed.
2. The Contempt for the Sermon (4:28-30): Jesus’ remarks so infuriate the audience that they actually attempt to kill him.
a. The crowd did not have the legal authority from Rome to actually execute someone. This is likely the cause of their great anger.