Luke 4: 14-24 (ESV)
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
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 favour.”
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 marvelled 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.
The initial part of Jesus’ teaching/healing tour was in Galilee but not including his home town. Obviously from what we read later, but not in today’s portion, he performed miracles. People loved what they heard.
He then goes to Nazareth and into a synagogue where he is known. And as a Rabbi (teacher) is asked to read the reading and give the talk related to that. The passage chosen to be read is Isaiah 61 v 1&2, which is a prophecy about the promised Messiah. Then sitting down, when every eye has turned to him and you could hear a pin drop, he says ‘Today, here and now, this prophecy is being fulfilled.’ People were excited – ‘all spake well of him’…… but then the whisper began to spread – ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’ And some of the older ones said something like and ‘even that’s not for sure, Remember the talk about Mary having to get married!‘
The scene is set. He acknowledges that it is hard for a great man to be acknowledged by those who saw him grow up and no prophet is easily accepted in his home town. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see where this all leads! Will he be accepted here?
Prayer: Make us keen to learn and then to act aright, please.