Saturday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 4:14-30

Hearing What We Often Do Not Want to Hear

The gospel of Luke, like Matthew and Mark, begins Jesus’ ministry after his baptism and temptation, skipping what we read the last few days in John’s gospel.  This is all fine and well, and the reason why we are given four gospels instead of one or two.  Much of what is in one is recorded in another but from a different perspective; or, some of what Jesus said and did is only in one of them.  In this way we get a complete picture, or at least the picture that God knows is all that we need.

Luke begins here telling us that Jesus returned to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit.”  He had conquered Satan in the wilderness, cleansed the temple, preached truth to Nicodemus, saved a Samaritan village, and who knows what more.  When we resist temptation as he did in the wilderness, we are able to go in the power of the Spirit and do wondrous things for the Lord.

So he arrives in his hometown in Galilee.  He had already preached in the synagogues and performed signs in Cana and Capernaum.  Our passage says that “as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day,” which tells us that although Jesus was sinless, he didn’t think he was too good to go to church, unlike some Christians today.  So there in Nazareth, he takes his place before the people and reads from Isaiah 61, a passage everyone in the synagogue would have been familiar with.  But then he says, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  He was referring to himself, of course.  But knowing they would not accept him, being a boy who grew up in their town, the son of Joseph, or so they thought, who was he to preach like this?  In response, Jesus reminds them of accounts from the Scriptures in which God sent prophets not to Israel but to gentiles – Elijah to the widow of Zarephath in the pagan town of Sidon and Elisha who healed Naaman of pagan Syrian.  In other words, when God’s people refuse to hear the word of God, God will send his messengers elsewhere.

The people flew into a rage.  They would have thrown him over a cliff, but instead he passed “through the midst of them,” either miraculously or through his own courage, after all as the gospel of John would say, “His hour had not yet come.”  How blind we can be to our own sin, how deaf to the truth that offends us.  This is especially true in our own day.  The Bible is not meant to spare our feelings, nor are preachers sent to do so.  The Bible is God’s word to save us, but it must first convict us and even wound us in order to do so. We are sick people who need a physician – Jesus.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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