If Jesus Were to Sit Among Us

Luke 4:16-30 tells the story for us:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.   And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.   He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

_______The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
_________because he has anointed me
_________to proclaim good news to the poor.
_______He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
_________and recovering of sight to the blind,
_________to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
_______to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.   And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.   And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”   And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.   And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”   And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “˜Physician, heal yourself.’   What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.”   And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.   But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.   And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.   And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.   But passing through their midst, he went away.

This lesson, walks through the text of Luke 4 to see what we can learn about Jesus and that original audience in the Nazareth synagogue, but it goes deeper than that.   What if Jesus were to sit among us? What if he were to look us in our eyes and deliver a God-breathed message?   What would he say?   And perhaps most importantly of all, how would we respond?


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