Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
Note to the class members that there is a gap of almost a year between Luke 4:13 and Luke 4:14. Events during this time can be found in John 2-5.
Returning With the Power of the Spirit
Jesus returned to Nazareth with the power of the spirit. This being said, ask the class members: Why do you think Jesus returned with the power of the spirit? Part of the answer is contained in scripture in verses 14 and 15. He had taught in the Jewish synagogues and everyone praised him. His fame had also spread as far and as fast as work of mouth could take it. Ask the class: What makes the fame of ministers of today spread? Answers may be of healing or excellent preaching. Those are correct, but add there has to be a certain magnetism that draws people to a message. Certainly Jesus had this. Ask the class members why they thought the people of Nazareth were looking forward to seeing Jesus? Remind the class members that Jesus regularly attended the synagogue in Nazareth as this was his home town.
Handed the Scroll Containing Isaiah 61
Ask the class members: Do you think Jesus asked for this scroll or if it was destiny that he would be handed this certain one? Have the class read verse 18 and 19. Then in verse 21 Jesus says in very clear words that He is the Messiah. Ask the class members: What do you think the people thought of this message? Why were they polite to Jesus and his message at this time? It is possible that His words were treated as “shallow words” to listeners, as we must remember who Jesus was to them, Joseph’s son and a carpenter. Ask the class what it is like returning to your home town to live after an absence?
Jesus Tells the Crown what they DON”T Want to Hear
There is a scornful challenge at this time. Jesus sees that the crown does not understand the full weight of his message. He then hits them with the strong words. No profit is accepted in his own town, and he will not heal himself just to prove to them that he is the messiah. When the message of Jesus goes from just “preaching” to scolding, the crowd gets ugly. Ask the class members: Are we like this today, went the message is strong and directed at us, why do we get mad?
Jesus Walks Away
Luke does not tell us if escape of Jesus from the crowd is miraculous, or the result of the commanding nature of Jesus. Ask the class members: Why do you think Jesus escaped? The answer to this is simple, it was not his time.
Close the Lesson
Ask the class members: What can we do to make sure we do not miss an important message in church or Sunday School? Are we sometimes like the people of Nazareth, open to the words but closed to the message. End with a prayer. Dear God, Always let me not only hear Your words, but Your message as well. Amen
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