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Summary: Proposition: Luke shares how those early Nazarenes were able to stop the Son of God - 1. Through their small mindedness 2. Through their attempt to keep Jesus in a box 3. Through their doubt and mistrust

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Scripture: Luke 4:14-30 (cf. 21-30); Psalms 71:1-6; I Corinthians 13:1-13

THEME: Stopping the Son of God - Epiphany 4 C

Proposition: Luke shares how those early Nazarenes were able to stop the Son of God - 1. Through their small mindedness 2. Through their attempt to keep Jesus in a box 3. Through their doubt and mistrust

INTRO:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.

Good morning! The great 20th century poet, Khalil Gibran wrote “It has been said that next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.” Most of us enjoy either hearing or telling a great story. Since the time of Adam and Eve, humans have shared stories. Stories can hold great power. Stories can inspire us, challenge us, bring out our deepest emotions and transform our worlds. Stories can change our lives.

My father was a pretty good story teller. Each night around our supper table he would share with us some stories. Usually, they had something to do with what happened that day at work. Sometimes it was a story that someone had shared with him. More often than not, each of his stories would have a hook. That is to say that they were more than just stories, they were stories that he used to teach, to inspire and to challenge us.

More than anything I think he wanted us to seize the opportunities that life had for each of us. He would tell us these very personal stories about the struggles of his childhood, not to make us feel guilty or feel sorry for him. He would share those stories so that we would be inspired to reach out and take full advantage of all the wonderful opportunities and chances that that existed around us. He was trying to provide for us the means to have a better, richer and more fulfilling life than he or mom had experienced.

Now, years later I find myself trying to do the same thing. You and I live in an amazing world. All around us are opportunities and prospect that can lead us to experience life to its fullest. We live in a time of great blessings and favor. We live on the cusp of a great revival.

My passion for sharing some stories revolves around my desire for people to experience The LORD in new and refreshing ways. I want everyone to enjoy the tremendous blessings and favor that The LORD has for them through His Word and the infilling of His Holy Spirit. I fundamentally believe that the best lived life is one that is dedicated to experiencing the LORD, the Bible and the fullness of His Holy Spirit in their lives.

I don't want people to live a life void of experiencing a rich and deep prayer life. I don't want them to miss what it means to passionately study and meditate on God's Word. I don't want people to miss the fervor of true praise and worship. I don't want people to miss out on the supernatural touch of The LORD in their lives.

When all is said and done ( as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13), the main thing in this life is love; love for The LORD foremost and love for one another. Everything else simply fades away. Only faith, hope and love remain and the greatest of these is love. And there is no greater love than being in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Luke chapter 4:14-30, Luke shares that Jesus is among his family and friends in Nazareth. They have all gathered at the synagogue for worship. His fellow Nazarenes have come to hear him speak. Jesus' growing reputation for being a miracle worker had no doubt made him a local celebrity. The other Gospel writers let us know that by this time, Jesus had already preformed many healings, including raising someone from the dead and casting out demons (Mark 5, Matthew 12).

Luke 4:22 shares with us that his fellow Nazarenes were both amazed and astonished at his teaching. "They spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming out of his mouth."

It was right at that moment that Luke shares a rather strange turn of events. The longer Jesus spoke the more the crowd became agitated, restless and upset. So upset that by the time Jesus was finished with his sermon, the people were determined to get rid of the young Nazarene by throwing him off a cliff (v. 28-29). In a matter of minutes Jesus went from "gracious words" to "they rose up and drove him out of town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff."

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