Summary: There is one reason why someone who has heard the truth of the Gospel does not commit their life to Jesus. Do you know what it is?
In recent weeks, there have been concerted and coordinated efforts by the liberal left to silence - even exterminate conservative voice. The uprising by supporters of President Trump at the US Capitol has fueled that effort. Tech giants like Google (YouTube) Facebook, and Twitter are literally deleting accounts of conservative leaders and voices, along with anyone associated with them. This was not limited to political opponents of the left, including the President of the United States and other congressional leaders. This also includes a growing list of pastors, religious leaders, and groups who are not in concert with the liberal agenda. People like Franklin Graham, the Family Research Council, and so on. We saw Parlor, a conservative social media platform virtually wiped off the web. The point is that it is not going to stop here. The message of Jesus Christ stands in opposition to the liberal voice of the world because it underscores Satan’s opposition to God's plans through The Lord Jesus Christ.
The rejection of Jesus is nothing new. From the very moment he entered into the world, Satan engaged in a holy war against him. We see that in Herod and even in the synagogues. It’s interesting to know that this is part of Christ’s suffering on earth. Rejection piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain. MRI studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts so much. In fact, our brains respond so similarly to rejection and physical pain that Tylenol reduces the emotional pain rejection elicits.
1. The Revelation
I’ve spent my life sharing the gospel message and it seems that during mission trips or evangelistic efforts, someone will ask me, “Why did they not believe in Jesus.” Other times in Bible studies, the question will come up as to why the Jews did not believe in Jesus.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. (John 1:11 ESV)
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? (Matthew 21:42 ESV)
There’s always the same reason people do not accept Jesus. It is not based on facts about him. There is only one reason why they don’t believe. Everyone who rejects Jesus as their Savior has one reason in common and I hope this morning this reason will become clear to you. If you are listening to me today and your eternity is in question or your faith is in trouble, I hope you hear me clearly. Because this is one of the most prevalent and shocking portions in all the gospels. Jesus is speaking in the synagogue and his words are utterly rejected with disdain by his own people. Let’s go back and read the verses from last week
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and 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.” Luke 4:14–21 ESV
Now, imagine that you came into church today and it was not me speaking but you find yourself as an audience of Jesus Christ as the preacher speaking to us in person. He’s telling us that all the prophesies are fulfilled and he is about to complete his Second Coming and take us home to Heaven. How would you respond to those words? That is similar to the words of Jesus in the Nazareth synagogue that day. Sabbath after Sabbath the Jewish people would sit and listen to the Scriptures and the rabbis' exposition of the Scriptures. It would almost entirely be characterized around the coming of the messiah. But on this day, the Messiah himself is in the room and he is proclaiming the fulfillment of the Scriptures they’ve been listening to all these years. That is what Jesus is proclaiming. He reads from Isaiah, rolls up the scroll, gives it back to the chazzan, and says, “Today the Scripture is fulfilled” (v. 21). So how does the congregation respond?