How are you approaching Jesus The Christ? Are you approaching Him as who He is or who you want Him to be? Are you humble or entitled? Are you demanding or grateful? Are you placing Your expectations on Him or letting His expectations direct you? Are you approaching Him with recognition of His authority, or are you in charge? Are you approaching Him at all or keeping a safe distance?
Also in this passage we see the demonstration of The Christ’s authority. The theme of Christ’s authority is woven throughout the book of Luke. Where we are, regarding His authority, has a lot to do with how we approach Him.
Chapter 4:14 – 44
14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about Him spread quickly through the whole region. 15 He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When He came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.
- He is now operating full time in the power of the Spirit (Public Ministry)
- He was known and respected throughout the general area (as a teacher)
- But what would happen in His ‘Hometown’?
17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
- This was a known ‘Messianic Prophecy’
- Everyone without the ‘Good News’ is poor
- Everyone without God’s forgiveness of Sin in Christ is ‘A Captive to Sin’
- Everyone without the Gospel is blind, everyone is oppressed (separated)
- The dawning of God’s Grace in Christ had arrived!
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. 21 Then He began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” 22 Everyone spoke well of Him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips.
- The idea of the Messiah coming was easy…the idea that He was here…
- It was cool until they figured out He was calling Himself ‘Messiah’
- They were comfortable approaching Him as a ‘Teacher’ not as God
“How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23 Then He said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.
- Presuppositions about Jesus, they thought they knew who He was
- Expectations of Him based on their desires (sin)
- Selfish desire to have Jesus ‘serve his people’…
- Jesus knew their thoughts, knew they would never be satisfied
25 “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”
- He is addressing their ‘Spiritual Entitlement’
- Their approach to Jesus is based on what they think they deserve
- The same story unfolds throughout the scriptures: God has ways we don’t get
- God has an agenda, are you good with it?
- God will perfectly choose who receives His: Mercy / Grace / Love / Salvation
28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but He passed right through the crowd and went on his way.
- Jesus hits a nerve, the declaration that they were not entitled to God’s favor
- When the truth is shown to some the reaction is violent
- I have encountered this anger when confronting people with God’s sovereignty
31 Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32 There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for He spoke with authority. 33 Once when He was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—cried out, shouting, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
- He continues to go to synagogues…he is open to being approached
- Demons know the deal, who Jesus is
- Those who know who He is know the totality of His authority
- The identification of Jesus as ‘The Christ’ (Holy One of God)
35 But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” He ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. 36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region.
- He not only has authority, He uses it for good
- Some who have seen His authority demonstrated will be convinced…
- These people don’t try to kill Him!
38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them.
- The approach was not to demand but ‘Humble Asking’
- Begging is synonymous with humility. The essence of prayer is begging.
- The Christ can be approached to heal us and our loved ones…
- God has shown us throughout the scriptures how we are to approach Him
40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.
- The bringing of family members is others based not self based
- Approaching Jesus on the behalf of others is an example for us
- Not all sickness has demonic origins, but some does
- Christ exercises His legitimate authority, demons can only declare who He is
42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.
- Jesus The Christ had an agenda contrary to their’s. He is not ‘On – Demand’
- They do well in how they persistently approach Him
- When God is in your midst you want Him to stay!
- Approaching from a place of desire for His presence
- We have to be good with God’s agenda for our lives and others
- Approaching Him believing He ‘Knows what He is doing’
- Jesus modeled this approach: ‘Not my will, but yours be done’
- Submission to God’s will
Submitting to His will for each of us starts with the surrender your life, by, faith to Jesus the Christ.
The Gospel is for this life and Eternity!
What are some experiences that have shaped how you approach Jesus The Christ?
Can you identify selfish expectations you have placed on Christ
How does your approach to Christ reflect your recognition of His authority in your life?
Is your prayer life more about directing God’s agenda or humbly asking for His best?