Today, while reading this passage, the Lord Jesus Christ encouraged my heart with the wonder of Who He is and what He has done. This is a godly privilege reserved exclusively for His children. Only Christ’s children have the Holy Spirit indwelling them so they can be blessed as they read His Holy Word, the Bible.
20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
The passage from Luke chapter four demonstrates the stark difference between believers established in Christ through God the Father and those who are merely religious. Christ gave ample proofs to support His declaration that He was their Messiah, but those who should have received Him, instead made an attempt to murder Him.
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in the synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 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 country. 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 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, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through midst of them, He went His way. 31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Luke 4:14-32
After being baptized by John the Baptist, being anointed with the Holy Spirit, and then tempted by the devil, Jesus Christ taught in the synagogues throughout Galilee. He came to His own village, Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and read from the Scriptures on the Sabbath, as was His custom. He specifically chose the passage in Isaiah which prophesied about the Messiah. After reading this passage He declared that He was the Messiah.
We have to keep in mind that Jesus grew up amongst these people. They knew Him. They knew His holy character. They knew His love and His submission to His earthly parents. They knew His love for the Word of God. They knew His love for God the Father. They had sufficient evidence from the daily life of Christ to know for certain that His attribution of this passage to Himself declared that He was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
What was their response? They spoke of His gracious words and then stated contrary to what Christ had declared to them, that He was the son of Joseph. Therefore, Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief and gave examples from the lives of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, of mighty miracles performed for a widow from Zarephath of Sidon and the cleansing of Naaman a Syrian, because of the unbelief and wickedness of the people of Israel, the northern kingdom.
What was their response to His rebuke? They all tried to kill Him by pushing Him over the edge of a cliff. He, however, walked away from them, right through the midst of them. His power, absolute, they could not kill Him before He did all the perfect will of God and accomplished His work upon the cross where He suffered and died in our stead so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
This same scenario is being played out within the visible church today. Churches around the world are speaking about Christ’s gracious words, but they refuse to submit to His utter claim of supremacy over all. They refuse to believe that His gracious work on the cross, where He was punished for our sin, and then three days later His glorious resurrection from the dead is sufficient to save any and all sinners who will repent of their sin and believe the gospel.
How about you sinner? What is your response? Will you submit to God and believe in His Son forsaking you sin and following Him? Or will you like the people from His village refuse to accept Christ as the Messiah and reject His work of salvation for you. I urge you to repent of your sin and believe in Him, so that you may be born again, having all of your sins forgiven and you may have the sure hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ; to do otherwise is certain eternal destruction in fiery hell.
20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” Luke 5:20-26
Lord Jesus Christ may You perform Your amazing work of salvation in the hearts of sinners who repent of their sin and believe in You. Amen!