Friday, April 17, 2020

2020.04.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 4:14–30

Questions from the Scripture text: In what (Whom) did Jesus return (Luke 4:14)? To where? What went through all the surrounding region? What did He do where (Luke 4:15)? What did all do? To where does He come in Luke 4:16? What had He done there? Where did He go on what day? What did He do there? What book was handed to Him (Luke 4:17)? What text did He find when He opened the book (Luke 4:18-19)? Who was upon Him (verse 18)? What did the Spirit anoint Him to preach to whom? Whom did the Spirit send Him to heal?  What else did the Spirit send Him to proclaim (verses 18–19)? What does He do in Luke 4:20? What does He say is happening in Luke 4:21? What do they all do in Luke 4:22? What do they ask? What does He tell them they will say (Luke 4:23)? What does Jesus say will happen to no prophet (Luke 4:24)? To whom had Elijah been sent instead of whom (Luke 4:25-26)? To whom was Elisha sent instead of whom (Luke 4:27)? How did the synagogue respond (Luke 4:28)? What did they do to Him, and what did they try to do to Him (Luke 4:29)? But what did Jesus do (Luke 4:30)?
The same Spirit who had led Jesus to glorify God in the midst of suffering and temptation empowered Jesus in His preaching, as He taught in the synagogues, Sabbath by Sabbath (Luke 4:15Luke 4:16Luke 4:31Luke 4:44). Let us learn to depend upon the Spirit of Christ, wherever His providence takes us. Not all of us preach, but all of us must have our hearing be with the faith that only the Spirit can give, and it is through many tribulations that we must be attended by the Spirit until we enter the kingdom of God.

How does Jesus apply Isaiah 61:1–2? By declaring Himself to be the Messiah (“anointed”) of whom it speaks, and declaring His hearers to be the poor, brokenhearted, imprisoned, and bound to whom that Messiah would speak. “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

That was the first line (“began to say to them”) of the gospel sermon that Isaiah 61:1 said He would preach. The gospel is the good news of who and what Jesus is, against the backdrop of the bad news of who and what we are, precisely because He came to undo what we became and did in Adam and since Adam.

It must have been a marvelous sermon about God’s mercy to those who are helplessly bound in sin and misery. They “marveled at the gracious words.” But it wasn’t the marveling of worship. They were more committed about whom they thought Him to be (Joseph’s son, Luke 4:22) than whom He preached that He was (the anointed One, the Messiah, Luke 4:18).

And Jesus announces to them that they will mock Him (Luke 4:23) with an insult that will get echoed even at His cross (cf. Luke 23:35). And why? Because they are not only mistaken about Him; they are mistaken about themselves. God saves the surprising (the widow from Zarephath, Naaman the Syrian), not the deserving. If we view ourselves as needy (widow or leper, Luke 4:25-27) but also perhaps partially deserving “in Israel,”), then we have mistaken ourselves.

Impressively, the congregation understood what Jesus was saying about them. But did they repent of their mistake? Did they cry out, “we were wrong about You, our Messiah! And about ourselves who are wholly undeserving!”? No, they were “filled with wrath” (Luke 4:28), and tried to kill Him. How will we respond when Jesus tells us that we are worse than we thought?
How do you respond to Scripture saying how bad you are? What’s this do to your view of Jesus?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH431 “And Can It Be”

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