“I chose to wear what I have on today because…”
Life is a series of related decisions. Clothing choices might be dictated by other factors or awareness, such as the weather or the day’s agenda.
What we do with Jesus impacts other areas of our lives. Believing in Him or rejecting Him will dictate other decisions. The people of Nazareth faced the same decision and would face the consequences of what they decided.
- How can one decision about Jesus impact future decisions?
Read Luke 4:16-21.
- What phrases did Jesus use to describe Himself?
- What verbs or actions in Luke 4:18-19 introduce phrases describing the work of the Messiah?
- How did the passage in Isaiah that Jesus read point to His mission of providing salvation?
- What role does the Scripture play in helping us understand Jesus’ identity and purpose?
Read Luke 4:22-27.
The word “proverb” can refer to a parable or allegory, a short story that serves to illustrate a deeper point. It represented a saying that had been passed down orally from one generation to another.
- How do people’s expectations of Jesus line up with His mission?
- What preconceived ideas about Jesus might a person hold today?
- How do those ideas get in the way of accepting Him as Savior?
During the days of the divided monarchy, Elijah fearlessly preached against the sins of the Northern Kingdom. For all his faithfulness, his own people turned against him. When God sent a famine to the land, the LORD went outside the Jewish nation to provide protection and support for Elijah. Instead of sending the prophet to an Israelite widow, the LORD directed him to a Gentile widow from the town of Zarephath in Sidon (1 Kings 17:7-16).
Jesus also pointed to the ministry of Elisha, who also served God faithfully in the middle of the Northern Kingdom’s wickedness. Like his mentor Elijah, Elisha experienced rejection and abuse at the hands of Israelites. Jesus reminded His listeners that lepers were abundant in Israel at the time. God could have moved to bring healing to any one of them. However, He chose to use Elisha to make a difference in the life of a Syrian military leader named Naaman (2
Through these real-life illustrations, Jesus demonstrated that familiarity does not guarantee God’s work. Nazareth could not assume God’s blessing if they insisted on rejecting the One whom He sent. Both the widow of Sidon and the general from Syria were shown mercy and miracles. The residents of Nazareth would get neither.
- How do the examples of Elijah and Elisha compare with the way Jesus was received in His hometown?
Read Luke 4:28-30.
- What emotions are expressed in vv. 28-30, for both the people and Jesus?
- Why would the crowd be angry with Jesus?
- How do the people’s emotions compare to the emotions experienced today when people do not understand who Jesus is or when He does not work according to their experiences?
Verse 30 indicates that Jesus did not need an army of angels to rescue Him. He understood that nothing would prevent Him from continuing His work according to God’s timing.
- How does the crowd’s reaction to Jesus compare to the reactions of people today?
- Jesus came to offer salvation.
- All people must examine their presuppositions about Jesus.
- Rejection of Jesus does not change His identity.
- If a friend asked what you believe about Jesus, how would you respond?