Summary: If we are to be conformed to the likeness of Christ then we must strive to follow His example in word and deed and do what Jesus did.
What Did Jesus Do?
Reading: Luke 4:14-30
The Gospel makes it clear that as followers of Christ we are “walking in newness of life”; we are raised up from the waters of baptism a new person, the old sinful being having been put to death. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (Romans 8:29) concerning the pattern that this new life is to take, that we are to conform ourselves to the image of Jesus. Not to long ago there was a popular fad to wear the acronym WWJD on clothing and jewelry, standing for the question What Would Jesus Do? The idea being that when faced with questions of conduct in this world we should ask ourselves What Would Jesus Do? That is a fairly effective approach but it can only work if in fact you know What Did Jesus Do! I need to know what Jesus did if I am to know what He would do. And so we are going to examine the example of our Lord Jesus as recorded in these few verses of the gospel of Luke.
I. He Made It A Habit To Worship. (Vs. 14-16)
A. as his custom was. Literally according to what was customary to him. This is one of the flashlights on the early life of Jesus. He had the habit of going to public worship in the synagogue as a boy, a habit that he kept up when a grown man.
B. It is noted, significantly, that Jesus regularly attended the weekly services in the synagogue. As a boy, His knowledge of the Scriptures had impressed the Jerusalem rabbis, and it seems probable that He was regularly called on to read and speak in the Nazareth synagogue, up until He began His public ministry. When He returned for a visit, it was natural that He would be called on again.
C. Our Lord would have regularly attended the synagogue for two reasons, this was where the faithful gathered to worship God and it was there that the Scriptures were read. To worship God is the duty of the faithful and we are exhorted to gather in assembly in order to conduct our worship. It should be our custom just as Jesus did.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 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.”
II. Jesus Read, Understood and Applied the Word of God (Vs. 16-22)
A. Jesus was at home with the Bible. There were no chapter and verse divisions to assist finding a particular passage. Jesus knew the scripture well enough to “scroll” immediately to the desired portion of Isaiah 61 and read. Jesus understood the meaning of the text and applied it to His life. Every part of the text spoke to Him and about Him.
B. We saw Jesus’ understanding and application of the word of God when He faced temptation. (Luke 4:1-13)
C. Consider Paul’s exhortation to take up the full armor of God: Ephesians 6:13-17. The armor of God is found almost entirely in His word.
D. We need to read the word of God, study for understanding and work at application just as Jesus did.
III. Jesus Brought the Message of Salvation to All Mankind (Vs. 23-30)
A. Jesus read His audience like a book. He knew that they wanted a miracle show, and He refused to cater to such. They were familiar with Him from His childhood and so were less open to receiving His message.
B. After revealing Himself through the prophetic text of Isaiah, He chose two Old Testament illustrations that drove home the point that God’s plan for salvation went beyond the limits of Israel. His care extends to the ends of the earth.
C. Elijah cared for a woman outside of Israel, and Elisha even extended kindness to an enemy soldier of Israel. All of this was evidence of the grace of God. The Jewish belief went something like this, “God had created the Gentiles to be fuel for the fires of hell.”
D. Jesus brought the new covenant to all the world and expects us to be His ambassadors, spreading the good news of Jesus to all mankind.
If we are to be conformed to the likeness of Christ then we must strive to follow His example in word and deed and do what Jesus did.