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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke

PART 3 - JESUS' MINISTRY IN GALILEE (Luke 4:14 - 9:50)

1. Jesus Preaches in Nazareth and is Refused by its People (Luke 4:14-30)

LUKE 4:22-30
22 All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will tell me this parable, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.’” 24 He said, “Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. 26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.” 28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things. 29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff. 30 But he, passing through their midst, went his way.

In the synagogue unenlightened minds of the Nazarenes could not grasp Christ’s birth by the Holy Spirit. The men and boys in the synagogue were worldly and not spiritually minded. They called Jesus the Son of Joseph and not the Son of God. They were blind without the Holy Spirit, mistaken, and arrogant, with the quarrelsome spirit of their town.

The people of Nazareth were held in contempt by other famous places, such as Capernaum and Jerusalem. They expected Jesus to work miracles among them which might bring them fame and riches. They were also prepared to acclaim him if his miracles bought them renown.

Joseph, Jesus’ father by adoption may have died at that time, and Mary and her family would be poor. The Nazarenes said to Jesus, “Make well your situation first. Build a palace, cause your relatives to become well-known, provide your town with wide roads and water, raise our civil, not spiritual, state; and then we will make you the center of our civilization, the prince of your homeland, and confess that you are the true Christ. What do you have so that we may follow you?”

Jesus had no money, properties, or armies. Instead he had the Spirit, mercy, and light. He did not come with worldly pomp, but rather presented to the world holiness, spiritual comfort, and renewal of hearts. Christ rejected the pride of riches and the passing fame of celebrity, and chose self-denial, humility, and meekness. Many people of the Old Testament belief were not prepared to walk in the way of the Holy Spirit. They refused to acknowledge Jesus because he did not offer them worldly gain, and hated him for calling them to repent.

It has always been the same: In the beginning when the people felt Christ’s kindness, speech, and humility, they shouted “Hosanna!” but when they received no money, political triumph, or fame, they shouted “Crucify! Crucify!” In the end, they chose Barabbas, the murderer and rebel, and rejected Jesus, the meek Lamb of God. Which one do you choose? Think carefully about the aims of your life, and decide your future.

The strange change from zeal to dislike was intentionally caused by Jesus himself, to show what was hidden in the hearts of the people. He said to the Nazarenes, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me”, which signifies that he was a true prophet who did not agree to the demands of his town. History has often proved that God’s help most easily reached the despised heathens rather than unrepentant pious people of the Old Testament. Christ could not help and save if hearts were not broken, and souls were not fearful of the holiness of their Lord, knowing that they were not worthy of his mercy. The people in the synagogue were enraged when Jesus told them that God chose to help and heal strangers (the widow of Sidon, Naaman the Syrian) as recorded in Luke 4:24-27. Therefore in anger they brought Jesus out of the synagogue to throw him down over the cliff so that he might be dashed to pieces.

The people of Nazareth were known for robbery, they were also indifferent to spirituality or religious and civic matters, in spite of their hypocritical claims and observances. Christ made clear to them that the Spirit of God would not dwell in such a notorious place, and called them to repentance, but the devil insinuated into their minds that they should kill the Savior of the world before he finished his redemption of the world on the cross.

Jesus went with them to the brow of the hill. And as he turned back and looked at them, his eyes pierced their hearts. Thus he condemned them without saying a word. Their hearts became exposed, and their bodies motionless, when they realized that he was God. Christ, on his part, left his enemies transfixed, and passed silently through them. That was his wonderful miracle in Nazareth: that he, by his spiritual majesty, revealed their satanic impurity.

This occasion brought to light another miracle: that the Son of God was brought up as a child in the midst of evil yet remained holy and sinless. God kept his Son until he completed his message on the cross. Dear brother, do you live in a town that is full of evil? Do not be afraid. Commit yourself to your Lord, and he will keep you, sanctify you, and complete your work to the end. Then nobody can have power over you.

PRAYER: O Lord, You know my heart. Please forgive me my worldly desires for wealth and fame. Guide me to repentance, confession, and self-denial. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Save many in my community, so that they may be delivered from their old self, and your Holy Spirit may dwell in them richly with joy.

QUESTION 39: Why did the wretched superficial Nazarenes hate and reject Jesus who lived among them since childhood?


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