Saturday 22 January 2022

 Luke 4. Verses 14/21


This passage begins after Jesus has completed his days facing temptations in the wilderness. I think it would have been more appropriate for it to have been the gospel a Sunday after the first verses which lead up to Lent.  This is in fact a follow on from those verses.

Jesus faced the forces of evil which follow us all through our lives, but Jesus will not be facing further interference from the devil until the time of his Crucifixion.   He had been baptized and divinely confirmed by God, and had resisted all temptations in the desert

Turning to the words of this particular section, he returned to his boyhood home in the village of  Nazareth, and went in his normal way to the Synagogue.

There was just one Temple in the country, which was where sacrifices were made for sin, and the Synagogue was the centre of religion in Palestine, and was where the preaching was given. If there were more than ten Jewish families in any one place, there had to be a Synagogue. 

Jesus had become well-known throughout the region, for he taught regularly but was speaking against the orthodoxy of the time.  But he had a distinct message to give and people listened intently. This still applies to-day, I have found that people may not always agree with what is stated by a preacher, but if he has a clear message rather than just waffling they will listen and be glad to hear. Jesus also healed people.

 There were no books at his day, so scrolls were used, and the leader of the Synagogue would place the scrolls to be used for that day, which in this case was Isaiah 61. In the verses was the message that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and sent to take the gospel to the poor. The American President Abraham Lincoln, once stated God must love the poor, he made so many of them.

Jesus was to grant liberty to those enslaved in exile, but also to grant forgiveness for sins. The oppressed, those blind would be given sight, and those affected by demons would be released.  The Lord’s favour is being carried out by him in the role of a prophet proclaiming the gospel in the act of a Saviour, the One who sets people free from authority of God having been given to Jesus.

Having given the message, he handed the scroll back and sat down, as was the procedure of a Rabbi who always sat to deliver a sermon.  But Jesus had the difficulty of being judged by the people of his village as just a village carpenter, and his message was not well accepted.

From the days of Jesus, people have been rejecting the teaching of the true gospel. The main reason is it reveals how far distant are their lives from that teaching, and people do not take kindly to being seen as in the wrong.

What did Jesus say that upset them?  He knew he would be attacked, because the Jewish leaders used Old Testament thought.  Jesus responded by telling of the deeds of Elijah and Elisha, but the people were upset that Jesus was suggesting the prophets were giving the wrong meaning.  The Jews always believed God would send a warrior king, who would prove to the world the Jews were God’s chosen ones, and Jesus was showing he was not such a person.

The same situation applies now, with the added fact that there are people who by virtue of what they want to believe are being revealed as liars and hypocrites.  They cannot accept the doctrines of the Virgin Birth or Resurrection, yet every Sunday they join in reciting the Apostles Creed, which states,, I believe in…….

We have Bibles openly avoided Scriptures posted on the internet and biblical apps for use on phones, but how many take advantage and read them?  The Bible should be a priority and read with reverence , learning about Jesus who is the One our future life depends on.

People fail to accept God is present in our daily lives, and firmly state he is not. Yet so many complain when some misfortune comes into their life, and say where was God when this happened?  The answer is he is where he always is, to be met on a Sunday when they are out doing a host of other things which could be done on any other day. A lot of people seen to imagine God is a sort of divine Santa Claus.

A doctrine of the Bible that God is just, holy, pure, and in control of the world he created is not appreciated .  Nothing will let some people submit to him, but would expect God to see all went well in their lives.

Finally, we are not expected to give in to all who so vigorously attack Christianity, nor accept the intolerance of so many activists whose idea of tolerance is, that if you do not accept their agenda, you are automatically deemed to be intolerant or bigoted.  WE should follow the example of Jesus and patiently carry on worshipping him, and always be ready to help others on their spiritual journey.

A day will come when the sowers will be rewarded with the reapers accordingly. If we persist our faith , some will notice and may be touched to follow.  They will then realise we can call on a power greater than we are, and the truth will set us free.

May the Lord bless his Word to us, and his Holy name be praised. 

No comments:

Post a Comment