Summary: Jesus delivered a sermon to his own people. They did not like it. Why? This sermon affects us, and shows us that we are God’s voice here on this earth to spread his Gospel.
This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 31st January 2016; St Oswalds is a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries.
“Please be seated, and join me in a short prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord. Amen. (Psalms. 19:14).
We are here this morning to worship the Lord, … and for no other reason. … Last week we saw the arrival of Jesus into the Synagogue, where out-with protocol, he chose his own reading from a passage from Isaiah, … and from that we saw that he was basically introducing himself as the long awaited messiah, … stating what he was about to do, … his mission. We also saw that he completed that mission, … as prophesized in the Old Testament.
Today we want to focus on his sermon which proceeded from that reading; a sermon not recorded in full, but with just enough to give us the gist, … and what Jesus was basically saying, was that “He is God’s salvation to the world”, … (which we now know he was), … but back then, this is not what the people wanted to here.
Yes it says they “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth”, at first, … but this is not how it ended, … because somewhere in that sermon he really annoyed them, … to the point where he enraged them fully, … and too get people that angry he must have spoke with authority and disdain, … he must have belittled or humiliated them, and he must have said something that hurt them to the core, and we will come to that later.
Yes, I am sure he spoke confidently, and I am sure his sermon was good, but I am also sure it was radical, … a sermon unlike they had never heard, but then, … for some reason, their eyes were suddenly turned to the fact that this was Josephs son, the carpenter, … the kid they had watched grow up, … and now that kid, was a man, and he was telling them, that he was the son of God.
So can you imagine how they felt, as they stood there looking at him, seeing nobody special; … just a carpenter with his good church clothes on, in fact the bible tells us in Isaiah 53, “that Jesus did not have any external features or beauty that would attract or draw people to Him”. So to them, he was simply ordinary.
I was trying to imagine Jesus that day, because the bible tells us that crowd started getting restless, … and I worry about that, because I have been teaching things from the bible, that many preachers would shy away from, … and I always worry how it will go down. I never teach anything I do not understand, … but there is so much in the bible, particularly the New Testament, that is just not being taught, maybe it is because it is not understood.
Many preachers stick to the familiar, and that bothers me, because there is so much that we do need to know, … information that is necessary live the Christian life. Today we read, that this did not worry Jesus, because I am sure he let rip, and gave them a good taste of the gospel, almost rubbishing every Jewish tradition they held dear.
And we do know from the other gospels that Jesus never held back, … if the people needed to hear it, then Jesus taught it, and then he would try to explain it
But then, as the crowd got ugly, Jesus did a strange thing, … he did nothing. … He could have done one tiny miracle to prove he had the power, but instead he did nothing.
You see, sometimes to prove yourself, you are putting yourself down. … Can you imagine Jesus doing one simple undisputable miracle, … let us say the healing of a person from a mild sickness that everybody knew about. That would prove that Jesus had the power. … But what if he did that, … what would the crowd demand next? They would want one more demonstration, and one more after that, until he was at their beck and call. … And notice the emphasise on them, … where the emphasis should have been on God, … in other words, they wanted to manipulate Jesus into working for them, to be their slave, and Jesus knew it. They would want to control Jesus, and this control would start by demanding a small demonstration of his power.