Sunday 03 February 2013

Bible Book:

Luke 4:22-40 Sunday 3 February 2013


You can almost hear the disdain of the congregants assembled inthe synagogue hearing Jesus quote those great words of Isaiah. "Isnot this Joseph's son?" they ask each other (v. 22). At first theywere amazed at the words and now they begin to reconcile in theirminds what they hearing and what they know from their experienceand it doesn't seem to match up. They believe Jesus to be anordinary carpenter's son from Nazareth, not a polished teacher andexpositor of the Torah (the Jewish law). Jesus though is not fazedby their questions and presents them with a proverb about not beenhonoured in your home territory.

As Jesus continues to explain himself, the people in thesynagogue increasingly get angry and the tension mounts. Luke'sGospel spares us the minor detail here, but somehow Jesus was notonly driven out of the synagogue but out of the town as well. Hewas driven to the top of the hill where the aim was "to hurl himoff the cliff" (v. 29), but due to their anger and frustration heis able to go through the crowd and on his way. Was thismiraculous? It could have been; on the other hand, the frenzy couldhave been so great the centre of attention got lost in thehullabaloo.

Jesus then moves onto Capernaum and instantly proves the earlierproverb correct. The people cannot get enough of his teaching andwere mesmerised by him. Even as the accounts progress and a manpossessed by an evil spirit tries to stop proceedings (verse 34),Jesus deals with the situation swiftly and promptly, ensuring hisstatus and awe by the crowd is increased still further. The passageends with people asking the question, 'What is this teaching?'(verse 36). They are so amazed they can't comprehend what they arehearing or seeing.

To Ponder

  • Are we often quick to judge situations before we consider allthe facts or hear both sides of the story? How can we actdifferently?
  • How would we have reacted in the synagogue to Jesus'revelation, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (v.21)?
  • Is it true that a person cannot be celebrated in their hometown? What about gold post boxes? 
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