Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)
Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!
Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.
Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.
There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!
After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.
It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2
After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.
Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.
This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21
Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.
The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?
Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?
Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis. And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23
Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.
Is there a bigger picture happening here?
Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.
That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46
Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!
Who saw that coming?
After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.
The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!
But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?
Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.
Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.
I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.
Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.
Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?
Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters.
One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!
History really does repeat itself doesnt it?
There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?
Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11
And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7
Can anything good come out of Nazareth?