July 16, 2012
He Stood up where He was Brought Up
“He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up … and He stood up for to read.”
Galilee was abuzz. As this new teacher moved from synagogue to synagogue in all the little villages which dotted Galilee, people were amazed at His teaching. Here was an “itinerant” preacher Whose words and teaching were with authority, clarity, and power (Luke 4:14-15). The expression Luke employs is that He was “glorified” of all.
His teaching was in the power of the Spirit of God. It is very likely that the events recounted in John 1:19 through John 4:42 transpired prior to Luke 4:14. If so, His teaching would have been accompanied by miracles such as those we read of in John 2 and John 4.
But now He comes to the village where He had been brought up – Nazareth. “As His custom was” reminds us of the holy habits of the Savior. His custom was to be in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He entered and, being a visiting teacher, was handed the scrolls containing the prophecy of Isaiah. Luke tells us that He stood up to read.
It was one thing to stand up in the synagogues of the different villages of Galilee. But it was an altogether different situation to stand up where He had been brought up. In the audience were doubtless those who knew Him as a child; others who had watched Him in His teen years. Tradesmen who knew shady business practices were also in attendance. They would know what kind of business this “carpenter” ran while in their village.
Yet with absolutely impunity to any accusation which could have been raised, he stood up right where He had been brought up. No one could remind Him of misbehavior as a youth; no charges of rebellion as a teen. No business person could find fault with His work or His ethics. He was able, without apology, to stand up amidst those who knew Him best. His life and testimony were flawless. If they were going to reject Him, it was not because of anything about Him, but would have to be because of the Word of God He taught.
1. The fame and honor of Christ was spreading. Yet notice that when He stood up, He gave all the credit to the Spirit of God (v 18).
2. In his citation of Isaiah the Lord Jesus brought together two prophecies: Isaiah 42:6-7 and 61:1,2. Why did He add the words of Isaiah 42? Did it have something to do with blind eyes being opened and the blindness of those in the synagogue (v 20)?
3. The mention of Gentiles receiving blessing to the exclusion of Jews led to anger; His audience led Him to a brow of a hill to throw Him down (cf ch 4:9-11). What would have happened had they cast Him down? Could they have killed Him? Is that why we read verse 30?