40 Days with Jesus – October 12th – Luke 4:14-30
Read Luke 4:14-30
As I read this passage, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. So, I dug into a few commentaries, re-read the passage, but still I was stuck. As I re-read once again, it hit me. This was un-scripted Jesus. Jesus entered the synagogue and was handed a scroll. There was no planning, no “sermon writing”, no rehearsing what he was going to say. He was handed a scroll and he went with it.
Jesus started this conversation by reading Isaiah 61. This came as no surprise to the men at the synagogue. But something was going on that they had not quite grasped yet. See, the men in the synagogue were all about what Jesus was saying, because they thought He was talking about them. He wasn’t talking about them though. This is where things start to turn.
In verses 25 through 27 he breaks it down for them. He says; “25 Certainly there were many widows in Israel who needed help in Elijah’s time, when there was no rain for three and a half years and hunger stalked the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a widow of Zarephath — a foreigner in the land of Sidon. 27 Or think of the prophet Elisha, who healed Naaman, a Syrian, rather than the many lepers in Israel who needed help.”
This is the amazing thing (and the thing that got Jesus in hot water), he was talking about their enemies! So this whole time the men in the synagogue think Jesus is talking about them, only to realize that He is talking about their enemies! Can you imagine? I can just feel the tension and tempers flaring off the pages of the Bible! No wonder the scripture goes on to describe the men as being “filled with wrath” in verse 28.
This is what blows me away. The Israelites expected every good, positive, beneficial word from God to be directed to them, and them alone. I imagine them hearing the scriptures and having these smirks on their faces. The thought that God loves all people the same never enters their mind. They were expecting God’s grace for themselves, and at the same time waiting for God’s fierce judgment on their enemies! They had completely missed the point that GOD LOVES EVERYONE AND HIS GRACE IS FOR ALL!
Unfortunately, I see so much of the Israelites in myself. Anytime I am mistreated or I see a great injustice, I am secretly waiting and hoping for God to take revenge on the people responsible. What I really have to do is stop and evaluate. Have I become so self-righteous that I want God to act based on my opinion of the situation? Doesn’t God love everyone the same? Maybe what I have to do is evaluate my view. Do I put myself on a pedestal and think I deserve more of God’s favor than the next person? Am I living in the truth that God loves everyone, or just me?
My prayer for today is that each one of us will learn to see all people as God does. He offers his love and mercy to everyone. Do we?
Jon Moodywww.chetscreek.com Read it and Share it on DoYouReallyBelieve.com! Register to the site via email: Email registration Discuss it and Like it at: Facebook Follow the site on Twitter: Twitter