Worship, Sunday, March 12, 2023
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Bible Trivia
      • Psalm 95ESV

  • Arise Shine
  • Jesus Name Above All Names
  • Fairest Lord Jesus
  • More Precious Than Silver
      • Luke 4.14-16ESV

      • Luke 4.17-18ESV

      • Luke 4.19-21ESV

      • Luke 4.22-23ESV

      • Luke 4.24-25ESV

      • Luke 4.26-28ESV

      • Luke 4.29-30ESV

  • I remember as a child learning the phrase about learning:
    “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”
    I have no clue who said it first, but they had something there. In aquatics and as lifeguards it is common to hear, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It’s why lifeguards walk around their entire zone every time there’s a rotation from one spot to another. The previous guard may say there’s no one down there, but are you sure? Are you sure they didn’t miss something?
    In recent decades cross training has become popular in just about every sport. That is where you participate or work out in other sports to get better at your own. A bicyclist might run, or a runner swim, or a football player play basketball. It’s a good way of stretching your muscles, and working at something you might not be as efficient at so that you gain strength and stamina for your sport.
    I don’t know if that translates to learning, but the older I get the more I can see how things I learn in one arena of my life can apply to another. As I consider the phrase, You don’t know what you don’t know,” It seems that is exactly what the men in the synagogue suffered from.
    It all starts out mundane enough. A simple synagogue service. The Synagogues sprouted up during the period of exile in the absence of a central place for worship and the sacrifice. After the men had gathered in the main sanctuary and the women in the gallery entering through the back door the service would begin. Perhaps it would start with the singing of a psalm, and then there would be a period of thanksgiving and blessing surrounding the Shema, from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy:
    Deuteronomy 6:4–7 (ESV)
    “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children...”
    Then as the service continued the most senior of the rabbis would step forward and draw back the curtain and open the wooden cupboard or “ark”, from which he would remove on of the scrolls containing the very words of God. The first scroll would be one from the Pentateuch - the first five books of the Bible - the books of Moses. The scroll would be taken to the lectern on the raised platform at the center of the room. He would then invite one of the elders or rabbis to step forward and read. It would first be read in Hebrew, then translated into Aramaic the common language of the area. This would be followed by exposition, questions and discussion. The process would be repeated with a scroll from the Prophets.
    This is the scene that we are dropping in on in our passage this morning.
    A home grown rabbi, one who’d grown up in their midst, comes to the synagogue. He is in his hometown of Nazareth, steeped in tradition. Perhaps his own rabbis were there, the one’s who had taught him his letters and even the very passage from Isaiah that he reads.
    Jesus is handed the scroll from Isaiah, and so He reads:
    Luke 4:18–19 (ESV)
    “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.”
    He begins to expound on the passage, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And note their reaction.
    Luke 4:22 ESV
    And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
    Here was one of the success stories of the synagogue, one who had kept the faith and attends regularly on the Sabbath. You can almost hear their pride bubbling to the surface as they listen to Jesus teach. But things were about to change.
    He lets them know that he is aware they’ve heard of how he’s been healing people in other towns, and no doubt want him to do the same there. They want their hometown prophet to show his stuff. The next part for us may feel like it’s in some kind of code.
    Luke 4:24 ESV
    And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
    He begins with the word translated for us as “Truly”, the Greek word amen, used over 70 times in the Gospels. Jesus places it at the beginning of the statement rather than the end, it emphasizes the truth of what is to follow.
    He goes on: Lk 4:25-27
    Luke 4:25–27 ESV
    But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
    Many of Israel’s prophets were not well received throughout the Old Testament. Jesus joins Himself with these in verse 24, then He gets specific. Jesus singles out the ministry period of Elijah and Elisha, perhaps the lowest and most apostate period of the nations history. He further points out that during that time the prophets did no work in the nation, but that they did heal a couple of Gentiles.
    OUCH! Jesus is comparing the current era in the synagogue He is in to one of the least spiritual periods in Israel’s history. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son? Who is He to say such things to us?”
    Secondly, Jesus is suggesting that Gentiles, who were intensely dislike among Jews, were more worthy of ministry than they were.
    One can see why in a matter of verses the temperature of the room changed.
    Luke 4:28 ESV
    When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
    And it is always struck me the contrast of their actions on the Sabbath with those that a “righteous” person.
    One could say, they

    They don’t know what they don’t know.

    Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy
    Jesus is anointed.
    Jesus will bring liberty to the captives
    Jesus will bring sight to the blind
    Jesus brings liberty to the oppressed
    The apparent challenge for people in the synagogue was He did not fit their expectation at all. Perhaps they expected Him to affirm their religiosity. Their piousness.
    They saw themselves as victims of the oppressive government, but they also saw themselves as righteous, keeping the Law. They saw themselves as “better than...”
    better than their oppressors
    better than the Gentiles
    better than those who didn’t keep the Sabbath (and yet their reaction to try and put Jesus to death reveals their spiritual void).
    Too often that is how we see ourselves.
    Too often in our current climate we see ourselves as victims. We justify ourselves and what we believe is right. We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our motives.
    Too often we don’t take a serious look at ourselves, taking the time to self-reflect.
    In this season of Lent we began on Ash Wednesday and I used a verse from Galatians 2:20
    Galatians 2:20 ESV
    I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Only we used it slightly modified. As one came forward to receive the ashes they professed their faith with the opening of that verse:
    Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
    I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
    Then the one imposing the ashes would respond:
    Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
    And the life [you] now live in the flesh, live by faith in the Son of God, who love[s] [you] and gave himself for [you].
    That is our call. That is our challenge. Our blind eyes have to be opened to our own unrighteousness, to our own playing of the victim card, to our own ways we put others down, to our own sin. We’re so much better at calling others out for theirs.
    We need to rise to the challenge of turning towards God. To seeing our sisters and brothers in need and responding. We have to ask God to open our eyes. Lord, open our eyes.
    Lord, forgive my selfish pride.
    Lord, let me see others as you see them.
    Lord, give me strength.
    Lord, I have been crucified with Christ.
    Lord, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
    Lord, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me.
    Lord, I choose to give as He gave Himself for me.
    It’s not about you. It’s all about Him. To God be the glory! AMEN!
      • Luke 4:22ESV

      • Luke 4:24ESV

      • Luke 4:25–27ESV

      • Luke 4:28ESV

      • Galatians 2:20ESV

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