Our scripture this morning is Luke 4:14-19.
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 favor.”
Jesus returns to Nazareth soon after beginning His public ministry. Going back home can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be difficult when people still remember you as you were, not as you are now. Jesus experiences both sides of this when He reads in the synagogue at Nazareth.
He recites a passage from the prophet Isaiah that pertains to Him directly. It speaks of Him being sent to bless and save us, to set us free from sin’s oppression. In the next section of this passage He tells them “this scripture has been fulfilled today in your hearing” (Luke 4:20).
While Jesus had been well received initially, this statement causes people to wonder “is this really the boy we knew?” Some will come to believe, others will be part of the mob who cry “crucify Him!” It is up to each of us to choose which group to follow.
Loving Lord, sometimes living our faith can be difficult, but Jesus taught and showed us the path would be hard. Strengthen us in adversity and may we share the truth of Christ with the world. Amen.