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Summary: The hometown Nazarene synagogue community could not hear Jesus over the noise of their own presuppositions. They watched him grow up. What do we hear when we listen to Jesus? In this text we hear his love, truth, and authority.

Listening To Jesus

Luke 4:21-30

Introduction

Proverbs 1:5 (NASB) A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel..

“There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ― G.K. Chesterton

We should always be a people who listen to Jesus. In our text Jesus’ hometown people are listening. When we left our text last week Jesus had issued a stunning mission statement. (Luke 4:18-21) The Carpenter’s son claiming to be the Messiah! Initial reaction was great! (Luke 4:22) Maybe some were sleeping during the sermon!

In next few verses Jesus will clarify what he meant and reaction of the crowd would not be gentle! Jesus in Prophetic Mode (Luke 4:23-24). Then Grace turns to violence. Jesus: Those who would hear from the Lord and accept him were not from the house of Israel.

Luke 4:25-30.

We obviously won’t have the same reaction as the Nazarene congregants … but we have the same duty … to listen to Jesus. If we listen to Messiah, What Will We hear?

1. Listening to Jesus We Hear His Love (Luke 4:18-21)

Jesus announcement sounds like Great News! The hometown crowd is at first graceful, then angry. For those who are oppressed, afflicted, imprisoned, and hurting there is hope in Christ!

When Jesus brings up Elijah and Nehemiah he is noting that God has demonstrated his love for those outside of Israel. The realization that Jesus intends for them to love the Gentiles is one of the reasons they react so badly. They were ok with loving one another, but not extending it outside Israel. They hated the Gentiles … but look who Jesus uses for illustrations of God’s love. Notice that the Gospel we are reading is written by a Gentile who is grateful for God’s love.

Do we ever leave people out … pretend God doesn’t call us to love everyone? 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13. In Jesus’ reminder of Elijah and Nehemiah, we are called to look outside our comfort zones into the world around us.

When we listen to Jesus we hear Love…

2. Listening To Jesus We Hear His Truth

The words of Jesus did not produce repentance, but anger.Why didn’t they want to hear what Jesus said? They can’t see Jesus as anyone but Carpenter’s Son

Their familiarity with him gives them right to criticize. They resent his authority / superiority over them.

When we hear Jesus, we are not blinded by those things. Do we have other blinders? Are there other things standing in our way of listening to the truth of Jesus? (independence, tradition, unwilling to repent, feel we already know all)

Jesus knows how they are going to respond. He knows how we are going to respond as well. The Calling of Isaiah - a good example.. Isaiah 6:5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Principles of listening to God:

*Recognition of our sin-I am man of unclean lips

*Recognition of our surroundings - living among a people of unclean lips

*Recognition of our Savior - my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

When we listen to Jesus we hear his Love, we hear his Truth…

3. Listening To Jesus We Hear His Authority

It is clear what the Nazarene community thought of Jesus Just a man - they rejected his message of love, truth. They hated Jesus. Treated him with spite, vengeance. They became violent and sought to kill him.

This is a chilling foreshadowing of the Cross.

For the poor, the cross is the promise of eternal riches.

For the imprisoned and oppressed the cross is the promise of eternal freedom.

For those blinded by their own sin, traditions, and pasts the cross is the promise of eternal light.

The cross was the marker of mankind’s hatred for and rejection of Jesus.

In today’s text men sought to kill him, but couldn’t. At the cross Jesus died, three days later he lived. Jesus’ had authority to teach, love, and to live.

John 10:18 No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”

Conclusion

When we listen to Jesus we hear his Love, we hear his Truth, his Authority.

Do we listen with open hearts, following and devoting ourselves to Him?

Do we listen with closed hearts, ignoring him?

Do we listen with resentful hearts, hating him?

How do you listen to Jesus today?

“There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ― G.K. Chesterton

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