The Scandal of Jesus’s Shocking Message and Ministry

January 25, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Luke | 3 Comments
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Jesus began to teach in the synagogues and to get famous. Then He went back to His home town.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Luke 4:16

It was common at the local synagogues for a visiting rabbi to take on the task of teaching the week’s lesson.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:17-19

The Gospel is for everyone, but Jesus came to preach it – during His earthly ministry – specifically to the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind, and the bruised.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luke 4:20

The Jewish scholars in attendance and even the regular congregants familiar with the writings of the prophets would have recognized the passage that we call Isaiah 61:1-2. You can almost sense their anticipation, as they wait for what comes next: “Okay, Jesus of Nazareth, what are you going to do with that text?”

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:21

How astonished they must have been! “He’s saying that prophecy is all about him!”

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

Luke 4:22

Perhaps they thought, “That’s absurd! We KNOW him! He can’t be the Messiah!”

People who think they’re okay don’t want to hear about a Savior, but those who are hopeless, helpless, and huntedTHEY want to hear about a Savior.

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Luke 4:25-26

To emphasize Jesus’s ministry to the outcasts of Jewish society, He used the example of God’s ministry through the prophet Elijah to someone who was a: (1) woman; (2) gentile; (3) widow. Then, He pointed to Elisha’s healing of a gentile leper.

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

Luke 4:27

What was the reaction of the synagogue’s leaders to the kindness and compassion and mercy and goodness of God? They wanted to kill Him!

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Luke 4:28-30

And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

Luke 4:33-35

We start to get a picture very early on in Jesus’s ministry of one of the reasons that the Jewish religious leaders were so offended by Him. He advocated helping gentiles, women, widows, lepers, and demon-possessed people. To whom would He minister next? “Before you know it,” they must have thought, “Jesus will want to save gang members, pedophiles, people with different skin colors, serial killers, maybe even liberal politicians and activists!”


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  1. […] in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud […]

  2. […] of those views, nor any variations on them, are the Gospel. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Who falls into the category of […]

  3. […] Defiled people: people who were considered “unclean.” 2. Destitute people: people who needed money. 3. Discouraged people: people who are just plain old depressed and […]

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