The Life of Jesus - week 3 - Jesus: the one who fulfils
Sermon date: Jan 27th
Reading: Luke 4:14-28
Let us start with a time to share news, joys and successes, worries and anxieties, hopes and fears. The more open we are the easier it is to pray for one another, but things said in confidence MUST be treated with the confidentiality they deserve.
Could you share one of your joys from the last few weeks and something that is worrying or scaring you?
Would a volunteer read this opening prayer in which we will ask God to enrich and direct our time of fellowship:
“Lord Jesus Christ, as we meet together in your name, prepare us in heart and mind, prepare us in heart and mind to listen to what you have to say to us. Help us, too, to listen to one another, so that we may help each other to grasp your will for us. Deepen and enrich our fellowship as members of your body; inspire us with a deep longing for your truth; and enable us to grow together in love, and in the joyous freedom of the sons of God; for your name’s sake.”
The life of Christ
As you know we are studying together “The life of Christ” as it is portrayed in Luke’s Gospel. The Gospels are not written simply as comprehensive records of events, but primarily to show us that Jesus is the Son of God and how in this capacity He brings us salvation. Equally importantly the Gospels show Jesus as a human being and how we should follow His example as successors of Adam. Each Gospel has its own emphasis.
“The one who fulfils”
In our short series we are equally selective. Luke has just recorded Jesus’ birth, and the rejoicing surrounding it, His genealogy, His growing up as a boy, His baptism and His temptation’. Now Luke turns his attention at some length to Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and today our emphasis is on Jesus preaching in the synagogue where he grew up in Nazareth – “as the one who fulfils”.
Please read Luke 4:13-28 together (you might want to do it in turns).
Discuss both of the following questions in turn and then consider question 3 to discover how the outcome could have been so different if the crowd had really listened to Jesus.
Q1 - We read “He returned to Galilee”(v14)
Q2 - What do you think about the crowd’s reaction to His gracious words? (read v15 &22)
Would He be influenced by the elders in the synagogue in Nazareth where he grew up?
Would His baptism at the hands of John inspire His ministry? (Luke 3:22 “and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.””)
Would He be encouraged by His victory over Satan in His temptation in the desert? (chapter 4)
Luke mentions several times in these chapters that Jesus was living in the “power of the Spirit”. What manifestations do you expect Him to show?
Q3 - Please read v. 28 at first they acclaimed Him then they turned on Him. What upset the crowds? Any ideas why this might have happened?
Would they accept “The local lad”? Why?
He had been working in Capernaum (v23) would they expect a similar work now in the town where He grew up? Why?
Please read Isaiah 61:1-2 & 58:6 (these are the words Jesus is quoting in v. 18-19).
These prophesies looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. His hearers were looking for the Messiah who in their longing would deliver them from their pagan enemies. Jesus identifies Himself as fulfilling Isaiah 61 v1-2, but He will bring healing to all nations (Gentiles and Jews). This enraged the Jewish crowds and they sought his death.
Q4 - The Gospel stills challenges our agendas today with its message of His grace. How do we respond to this challenge?
Q5 - The good news that was being proclaimed included these important phrases, could you spend a few minutes discussion what each of them means:
“Proclaim freedom for the prisoners”
“and recovery of sight for the blind”. Is it both physical and spiritual?
“and set the oppressed free”
“to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”. This relates to the year of Jubilee when everything was restored, when debts were forgiven and everything started again. In what ways does this relate to Jesus’ ministry?
Practical lesson for listening to sermons
The crowd give us an instructive example of how we so often listen to sermons. They wondered at his gracious words but could not find anything wrong with what He said. They saw the beauty of His speech but remained untouched by His teaching. So often we may delight in the quality of the orator but completely miss the message.
Q6 - Let us examine ourselves on this point. Let us see what practical effect is produced on our hearts and lives by the preaching we profess to like. Does it produce fruit or is it just human admiration and soon forgotten?
Howard Gracey, 08/01/2019