“He [JESUS] went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the LORD is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim Freedom for the prisoners and Recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed Free, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.” Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” ” – Luke 4:16-21 NIV
Can you imagine arriving at church one morning to worship, and someone you’ve known for years stands up in front of everyone and says “I am the fulfillment of the scriptures”? Can you imagine the laughter and scoffing? I think that very thing happened to JESUS. I’m sure someone said “You’re a good man, true, but the MESSIAH??? No way! You’re the son of Joseph, not GOD! Take it back!” We know that’s what happened because it is documented in the scriptures.
“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw Him off the cliff. But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.” – Luke 4:28-30 NIV
Gotta love that last sentence! The people were determined to kill Him, and JESUS just walks right through the crowd and away from them. The confusion that had to have descended upon the crowd would have been a sight to behold, I’m sure. Most people known that He went on to teach and heal and minister for the next three years, until the rulers of Israel decided He was too much of a threat to them. All four Gospels tell the story of His ministry, His persecution by the authorities, His ‘trial’, torture, and crucifixion, and of His VICTORY over death and the grave! If you aren’t familiar with the whole story, read the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are written from the perspectives of a tax collector, a teenager, a physician, and a fisherman – all first-hand observations of the life and ministry of JESUS, Whom they knew was the MESSIAH, as the fulfillment of the prophecies. Just ordinary people following an extraordinary Man, giving up their lives to follow Him.
We each have the opportunity to do what the disciples did: give up our selfish wants and follow the lead of JESUS – or deny Him. Do you know He is the fulfillment of propecy? Even the demons acknowledge that He is Who He says He is: the SON of the LIVING GOD, come to earth to sacrifice Himself so that we might each be saved from the very real eternity of hell and damnation. Are you willing to do the same as the disciples, to give up your worldly ways to follow JESUS; to open yourself to the attacks and harassment of the enemy, and the possibility of persecution or even torture? It’s more than just saying we believe! It is accepting Him as our SAVIOUR – something the demons won’t do, even knowing as they do the TRUTH of the Way of JESUS.
“JESUS answered [a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council], “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. You should not be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the SPIRIT.” ” – John 3:5, 7-8 NIV
Are you born of the SPIRIT?
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