Summary: Lessons from Jesus about responses we can expect as we communicate the true Jesus of Christmas.
Date: Dec. 8th, 2002
Title: Responses to Christ (mas)
Bible Text: Luke 4:16-30
Have you ever experienced a Christmas where one of your children is ripping through their presents and they open one from grandma only to find of all things! Clothes!?!?!
They immediately say, oh, its just clothes and toss it aside for some plastic gadget or toy that will join all their other toys at the bottom of their toy box or the back recesses of their closet.
The problem is that the clothes have more practical value than anything a child will get. But kids just want to have fun!
As we think about Christmas this year we must take some time to reflect on another gift. The gift of God’s own Son born in this world. Many people just plain miss this present that God has given us. They don’t understand who Jesus really is.
Well, how do you and I help people know the real Jesus this Christmas?
I. We Can Take Our Faith Home For The Holidays. (vs. 16-21)
A. The Holidays are a great time to share our faith. (v.17)
1. Jesus was back home.
ILL. If you ever move away from your childhood home then you know what it is like to try to go back. For me, driving to upstate New York is like going through a time-warp. As I see old buildings and homes of my childhood friends my mind takes me back there. Memories of fun times and sad, victories and defeats…everything is in play back mode.
a) I can almost imagine Jesus, the Son of God, looking at the different homes of people He knew when He was growing up.
b) Seeing the field where He and His friends used to play tag.
c) Perhaps remembering a time when He and His dad worked together in the carpentry shop that now looked a lot smaller than it did growing up.
d) Any of us who have “gone back” know that Nazareth High School looked a lot different too!
2. We can only speculate regarding Jesus reliving childhood memories but the Scripture is clear, He was back in His hometown Nazareth.
3. It says that when the Sabbath came – possibly a few days after He arrived.
a) He went to the synagogue as was his custom.
b) Jesus did what He always did even in the midst of his family.
4. I know that sometimes, when we get back together with our families we revert back to old patterns, not wanting to offend anyone.
a) Perhaps our family doesn’t go to church and so we stay home too.
b) Perhaps the family indulges in language or topics that are contrary to our new way of thinking and living.
c) Should we blend in just like old times or let them see the Light of Jesus in us?
5. Jesus didn’t worry about any of that, He was always consistent in His relationship with His Heavenly Father.
6. We need to ask today, What is our custom? What would others see in us as our usual mode of behavior?
a) A man or woman of prayer?
b) A student of God’s Word?
c) Do people outside the family of God ask in that derogatory way, “Are you going to church again?”
7. On this particular day Jesus stood up to read from God’s Word.
B. During the Holiday Season we need to remember who we are. (17-21)
1. Jesus was always aware of exactly who He was.
a) Jesus turned, or rather rolled, to the words of the prophet Isaiah 61:1-2.
b) God was speaking through His prophet and He proclaimed that a day would come when God would send one who had the spirit of God on Him! His own Son!
c) Jesus read His own prophecy that He was now fulfilling!
d) He came to preach the good news to the poor, He proclaimed freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.
2. Then He rolled the scroll up and went back to where he was sitting on the floor with everyone else.
a) The custom at this time was that the Scripture was read standing and then the person would sit and give His interpretation.
b) Everyone was watching Him as He went back to sit.
c) That word there for fastened gives that sense that every person was waiting to hear what Jesus would say.
3. Then He spoke some pretty shocking words for those people in that Nazarene synagogue.
a) Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!
b) In other words, He was saying, “Don’t confuse my identity with any one else, I am the one Isaiah was speaking of.
Trans: Isn’t it amazing how people can miss identify Jesus. Later on in one of Paul’s letters he told the church to beware of anyone who preached a Jesus other than the one He had introduced them to. The problem started in Nazareth and continues on even today. People mistaking who Jesus was and is.