Monday, September 3, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

31. Jesus returns to Galilee- Matt. 4:12, Mark 1:14, Luke 4:14, John 4:43-45


-Jesus goes in the power of the Holy Spirit back into Galilee as John is taken into custody. The news about Him is spreading and He gains support in Galilee as those who had been in Jerusalem and saw His miracles received Him as a man of God (probably not as the Messiah though). *Application* Jesus’ fame and notoriety became contagious in the region of the Galilee. This was a low profile area compared to Judea and allowed the Christ to develop His disciples unhindered from the controversy and political turbulence of the area around Jerusalem. Christ was always led by the Holy Spirit in whatever endeavor the Lord told Him to do. May we likewise be obedient to His promptings and directions through the course of our lives.


Verse to Memorize- Luke 4:14


32. Jesus rejected at Nazareth- Luke 4:16-31


-Christ Jesus had begun teaching in the synagogues being praised by all (Luke 4:15). He came back to Nazareth, where He’d grown up, and the synagogue leadership brought Him up to read from the Word of God (Itinerant, or visiting, speakers were common and customary in the synagogues, Paul was another example we see in Scripture being allowed a voice in these places). Jesus was in the habit and custom of being in the synagogue (the assembly, the gathering place of the Jews, popularized when the Temple in Jerusalem was unavailable and in disrepair by foreign invasion and still the tradition of Jewish people as their Temple was destroyed in 70 AD). As He stood to read, He selected Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD.” *Application* There is no better Scripture that He as God, Savior, and Redeemer could have picked as He taught here in His hometown. In the same way we, as His followers, are anointed by the Spirit of God to bring the good news of Christ to the afflicted. We also can bind up the brokenhearted with our love and tender mercies. We can proclaim victory and freedom to those held in the bondage of sin because of what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary. We can be released from a life of death and we can share with others the rescue that God has provided through His precious Son. This is still the favorable year (time, age) of the LORD!

-Jesus had the full attention of His audience as He sat back down after His reading of Isaiah 61:1-2. Then He proclaimed, “Today the Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21).” This at first was well received, but Jesus pressed in on them and made some comments that greatly irritated them to the point of wanting to kill Him. The issues primarily revolved around the fact that at times God chose to reach Gentiles rather than Jews. Jesus implied that his hearers here in Nazareth were as unbelieving as the citizens of the Northern Kingdom in the times of Elijah and Elisha. That was a time of great idolatry and wickedness, which these listeners fully understood and raged at the thought that this Prophet was comparing them to that generation. Jesus was taken to the cliff on the brow of the city’s mountain side (I have seen this location and He undoubtedly would not have survived being thrown off of it, it is steep, mountainous, and very rugged). Somehow Jesus was able to pass back through out of their throng to safety and went on His way returning to Capernaum where He headquartered His earthly ministry (Luke 4:31). *Application* Jesus displayed no fear of man in proclaiming the favorable year of the LORD. He spoke the truth and sometimes that enraged people that had hard hearts and pride. We will encounter the same obstacles in our delivering of the truth, especially in hometowns and places where our past is very familiar to people. No prophet is welcome in his hometown. Take that concept to the bank and cash it.


Verses to Memorize- Luke 4:18-19

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