The words were well known by all. Centuries had come and gone since the Prophet Isaiah had written them.
As was His custom, Jesus attended worship at the synagogue in Nazareth. He had been on an amazing ministry tour in Galilee since the Holy Spirit led Him out of the desert. The moment had come for Him to tell His friends and family who He was. They needed to know. It would explain so much! The news of the healings and other miracles had preceded Jesus to the meeting. The elders handed Him the scroll of Isaiah to read. He turned to the place where the Prophet predicts the power of Messiah’s ministry.
The Spirit of the Lord
“Christ” means, “the Anointed One.” The secret of the future impact Messiah was to be the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Christ will be the “Anointed One”—chosen by God and moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. He will walk among people as a source of blessing. Whatever they need they will find in Him.
- The poor will hear the Gospel—the Good News of God’s Kingdom come to Earth.
- The brokenhearted ones will find healing in His embrace.
- Captives will be set free.
- The blind will see again.
- Those who had found living to be a binding, bruising experience will be set free at His command.
- He will proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He closed the scroll as every eye in the synagogue was fixed on Him. What would be His commentary on the passage they all knew so well?
His commentary changed everything. He was not Joseph’s son. He was more than a skillful carpenter. The ministry in Galilee proved it—Jesus was the one spoken of by the Prophet.
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The stunned silence quickly gave way to skepticism and hurtful questions. The questions gave way to violence. The congregation became a mob. They manhandled Jesus out of the meeting house to the brow of a hill intending to throw Him off. He stopped them with the force of His very presence. Like the Red Sea before the Children of Israel, the crowd parted before Him and He walked out through the middle of them.
“…no prophet is accepted in his own country…”
The Nazareth Misjudgment
Those people thought they knew Jesus so well. The older ones had watched Him grow up. The younger ones had grown up with Him. He was a good man, a master craftsman, but Messiah? No! He was the son of Mary and Joseph arriving among them a little too early. Who could believe those tales about the miracles in Galilee? Do one now, Jesus, for us.
So smart. So clever. So wrong. The blind among them still stumbled in darkness and the deaf ones still heard nothing. Those in chronic pain went to bed again with their usual discomfort. It could have all be so different. They could have seen Him walk among them with healing in every step.
The words were well known by all but the truth escaped them.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 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. 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: “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; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 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. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 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.'” Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 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; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was 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.” So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 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. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Lord Jesus, I want to know You. I will open my mind to You. I will open my eyes to You. I will open my heart to You. I will listen for Your voice. You are my Healer and Deliverer. I will not be distracted by those who doubt You. Your presence will be my passion, Your will for me will be my plan. You will always find honor in my heart and praise on my lips. Your Word will be my constant song. Amen.
Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.