Summary: As we engage our message we have seen Jesus tempted by Satan, called Matthew as a disciple, & today we see Rabbi Jesus returning to His hometown of Nazareth.
Return of the Rabbi
(Lenten Sermon; Luke 4.16-30)
March 30, 2014 Chester’s FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A As we engage our message we have seen Jesus tempted by Satan, called Matthew as a disciple, & today we see Rabbi Jesus returning to His hometown of Nazareth.
1 Since He had left the small village He had gained regional fame (teacher, miracle-worker, performer of great wonders).
a His family, childhood buddies, neighbors were anxious to see Him.
b Jesus was the local boy who made it big. (Probably a little sign just outside of town that read “Home of Jesus the Miracle Worker”. (However, by the end of the day I’m pretty sure there was committee formed to have the sign removed.)
2 We find Jesus going to Synagogue on the Sabbath (v.16).
Luke 4:16 (NASB) 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
a Jesus could have argued that the religious system was corrupt or that He didn’t need their instruction . . . but instead, on the Sabbath He made His way to the place of prayer.
b Heb. 10.24-25, attending worship (going to church) was a practice His disciples should imitate today. (Congratulations by being here today you are demonstrating your obedience to His calling on your life as a Christian.)
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB) 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
3 A typical Synagogue service consists of about six parts.
a A blessing spoken over the congregants (Shema).
b A prayer w/ a response of “Amen” by the congregation. (Invocation)
c A reading from the Pentateuch (Torah)
d A reading from one of the Prophets (A Chazzan would give the reader, speaker of the day, a scroll to read from.)
e The sermon would be shared by the one who read the passage from the Prophets.
f A Closing prayer (Benediction)
B As the sun went down on Friday evening, Jesus would have heard a double blast of a shofar from the roof of the house top of the Synagogue Rabbi (A Warning that Shabot/Sabbath was almost here.)
1 Moments later another double blast was heard (Telling all that work must be laid aside.)
a Moments later, another double blast was heard (The Shabot had began & the Menorah in the Synagogue was lit.)
b On Saturday morning, Jesus went to the Synagogue were He attended countless times as a boy, teenager, and as a man.
aa For the first time in a long time, He’s back at His home “church.”
bb He sees the old familiar furnishings, fixtures, & faces of the old house of prayer.
2 Luke’s account of Jesus’ visit to the Synagogue began with Him reading from the prophets . . . in this case He was handed the scroll of Isaiah, opens the scroll & begins to read.
a Luke 4:17-22 (NASB) 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
C Jesus’ ministry as prophet & Messiah are depicted in His text in four metaphors.
1 Preach the Gospel to the poor . . .
a The word “poor” is from the word that means “to cringe, to shrink back or to cover.” (It’s a picture of a beggar cowering in the shadows.)
b In spiritual terms, it’s those who recognize they have nothing by which to offer God to have Him receive them.
aa They know they are morally bankrupts, that their righteous deeds are nothing but filthy rags to Him.
bb Messiah only brings salvation to those who know they are spiritually destitute & that only God can supply their needs.
cc Not fake humility, fake piety . . . genuine realization that we have nothing to offer God but our sin.