Friday, May 5, 2017

41 - A Prophet is Not Without Honour


   But when Jesus heard that John was thrown into prison, He went back into Galilee. Mat. 4:12

   And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. And a report went out throughout all the neighborhood concerning Him. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And, as His custom was, He went in to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 

   And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And unrolling the book, He found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." 


   And rolling up the book, returning it to the attendant, He sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears. And all bore witness to Him and wondered at the gracious words which came out of His mouth. And they said, Is this not Joseph's son? 

   And He said to them, You will surely say this proverb to Me, Physician, heal yourself. Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your native-place. And He said, Truly I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his native-place. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But Elijah was not sent to any of them, except to Zarephath, a city of Sidon, to a woman, a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. And hearing these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and thrust Him outside the city, and led Him up to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, in order to throw Him down. But passing through the midst of them, He went away. And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. Luke 4:14-31



The  Upstart Preacher


   After Jesus had been tempted by the devil he went back to the neighbourhood around Nazareth, His hometown, and preached in various synagogues in the power of the Spirit.

   He was glorified by all. 3:15.  The word glorified, in this sentence, does not mean to worship but to be held in high esteem. Strong #1392.


   He came to Nazareth ... And, as His custom was He went in to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.  

   The attendant brought to Him a copy of Isaiah from which to preach.  He read The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to:
  • proclaim the Gospel to the poor. 
  • heal the brokenhearted, 
  • to proclaim deliverance to the captives, 
  • give and new sight to the blind, 
  • to set at liberty those having been crushed. Isaiah 61:1-2
   After He had read the Scriptures He returned the scroll to the attendant and sat down to preach.  Everyone in attendance was fixated on Him.  He said, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.  They listened carefully and liked what He said.  Never the less they could not figure it out.  They were almost sure that this preacher was the son of a certain carpenter they knew.  "But where did He learn to speak so well?"

   Christ continued speaking, You will surely say this proverb to Me, Physician, heal yourself.  Also, you are going to say to me, Miracles like you did in Capernaum, do them here too, we want to see for ourselves if what we have heard is true.  Then Christ spoke those words which have become a proverb of their own, No prophet is without honour except in his own country. 

   Then Christ gave them some examples to verify His statement:
  • In the days of Elijah, there was a great famine but Elijah was not sent to feed widows; except the one in Sidon in the country of Phoenicia
  • During Elisha's time there were a lot of lepers all over Israel but only Naaman, a Syrian, was cured of leprosy.  So you see what I'm saying, a prophet cannot work miracles among his own people.
   Well, this rubbed the listeners the wrong way, in fact, they were filled with wrath.  Some were satisfied to oust him out of the city, others thought, no way is he getting off that easily.  So they forced Him to the brow of the hill ... in order to throw Him down.  Pushing someone off a small cliff was often the first step in the process of stoning. Once the victim fell down, they were pelted with rocks until dead. Guzik.  One can imagine that while the two opposing groups of people were arguing about what action they should take, Christ escaped by passing through the midst of them.

    He left Nazareth and went back to Capernaum and continued His preaching there.  Later on, when the Lord appointed seventy others He said, into whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, going out into the streets say, Even the dust of your city which clings to us, we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near you. Luke 10:1+10-11.  I wonder, was Christ thinking of this incident in Nazareth.