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The Gospel According to Jesus ~ Luke 4:14-30 May 12, 2013 ~ New City Church Calgary ~ Pastor John

Ferguson Intro: Multiple stories in the news this week that left us reeling. Cleveland: Three women who escaped being held for 10 years as sexual slaves. Citadel: 15 year old teen who died emaciated Varsity: a three hour police stand-off for a person who had stolen a car Calgary: former youth worker apologizes in court for molesting half-dozen boys

In Grand Canyon, Everything is supposed to be different from what it is here. We all know this intuitively, yet we look for answers in all the wrong places. We say the problem is govt, lack of education, unfair social structures, the imbalance of wealth, the atheists, the Muslims, the Jews, the Christiansthe fact that everyone doesnt use a Mac. Jesus had a RADICALLY DIFFERENT DIAGNOSIS of whats wrong with the world. And because of this, he had a RADICALLY DIFFERENT VISION for how the world needs fixin! And we begin to learn about it in an opening sermon that Jesus gives in his home town that Luke records for us. We learn about who Jesus thinks he is, and what his essential message is, and how it almost got him killed. If you are here today investigating Christianity, you could not have come on a better day. Because you get to hear Jesus explain the Gospel according to Jesus. Look for: (1) Jesus explained; (2) Jesus rejected

I. Jesus Explained 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and a report about him went through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. Jesus has just come out of a 40 day period of trial & temptation Bursts onto the scene preaching to the masses and performing miracles And even though they didnt understand everything about him or what he was teaching, everyone is speaking highly of Jesus.

16 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. Nazareth is a little podunk town. Poor, off the beaten path, estimated to be 100-200 people. o John 1:44-46, Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 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 the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lords favor. Isaiah spoke of a future Suffering Servant who would bring about salvation; who would set everything to right; who would make everything just the say its supposed to be.

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all were fixed on him. What Jesus says next is one of the most earth-shattering things that have ever been said.

21 And he began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. The long awaited Day has arrived Today; a new day has dawned; the new epoch begins. I cannot over-emphasize how radical this statement from the lips of Jesus is. If true, this would be the greatest news they or we could ever hear. If false, this would be sad at best and sinister at worst. o Sad b/c he would be delusional o Sinister b/c he would be deceptive

22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, Is not this Josephs son? Jesus is saying what they want to hear, but they are not putting 2+2 together yet. Jesus is making a very radical claim.

Key Point: Its possible to say Jesus is a great teacher, and not get what he is teaching. (1) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me. Messiah / Christ = Anointed One Everything Isaiah had said about the Messiah is really about me. Isaiah spoke about Jesus and what Jesus had come to do.

(2) to preach good news to the poor. Good News is the word gospel in Greek (NASB); it is simply an announcement. It is not advice, it is not some quick pointers to make your life better. It is an announcement about something that has happened or is happening. NEWS FLASH! The poor of Jesus day essentially included everyone who was not (1) a part of the government; (2) part of the religious ruling class; (3) part of the tax-gatherers. o The poor were your everyday, common, working men & women & families. o Luke highlights the poor and Jesus concern for them throughout his gospel. o We in the West think of poor strictly in financial terms, but Jesus saw the poor in terms of their spiritual poverty as well. 2

Same word for poor (ptochois) is used in Mt. 5:3, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Those who realize their spiritual bankruptcy before God

o Jesus: Ive come to give you something that no amount of money can buy you: the forgiveness of sins, eternal life in my kingdom, and all the treasures of heaven. o Ryken, Usually the poor get overlooked, but Jesus said the gospel was as much for them as anyone else. This was not a way of excluding anyone (not even the rich), but of including everyone (even the poor). (3) He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives Word technically means prisoner of war But none of his audience were prisoners of war. Again, Jesus sees the captivity of people in spiritual terms: people are spiritually enslaved to guilt, depression, money, the opinions of others, envy, hatred, jealousy, to their own selfishness, and sin and Satan. o Gal. 1:4 (NIV), who gave himself for our sins to rescue us. o Col. 1:13-14, He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son. Jesus: I have come to rescue you and liberate you from the bondage in your life.

(4) and the recovering of sight to the blind..., The historical record tells us that Jesus was a miracle worker, and he did heal people who were physically blind (7:22), but he is speaking much more broadly to encompass those who are spiritually blind. Blind is a metaphor throughout the Gospels for those who cannot see spiritual truth. Acts 26:17-18), I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to lightso that they may receive forgiveness of sins.

(5) ...to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor. Jesus here speaks of those who have been sinned against, who have been crushed and abused by others. He offers them liberty, release, freedom as well. One day all oppression will cease, but for now, Jesus offers grace, strength, and freedom from bitterness and the desire for revenge.

Jesus has come to rescue us from spiritual poverty, spiritual bondage, spiritual blindness, spiritual oppression. Can you admit to this? I am spiritually impoverished. I am spiritually enslaved. I am spiritually blind. 3

I am spiritually oppressed.

If so, you are not far from the Kingdom of heaven. You are precisely the kind of person Jesus is interested in. You need the Good News of who Jesus is and what he has come to do. 23 And he said to them, Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, Physician, heal yourself. What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well. = Take your own advice. The Nazarenes wanted Jesus to do some tricks for them. But miracles seldom produce belief; they produce wow, and often result in hardness of heart. Jesus never did tricks to impress people, but he did do miracles that healed the brokenness of this world and that gave a foretaste of life set right in the kingdom. And he said, Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up for three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 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. Jesus refers to two examples in a very dark time in Israels past where the nation was engulfed in idolatry and prophets were sent to warn Israel of its impending doom. He refers to two Gentiles who found grace and favor in Gods sight while many in Israel were passed by b/c of the hardness of their hearts. What was Jesus telling his hometown audience? If you reject me as your Messiah, you will be like the people in the days of Elijah and Elisha who spurned the grace of God. And Gods grace will go elsewhere.

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How did they respond? II. Jesus Rejected 28 When they heard these things, all were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could thrown him down the cliff. Nazareth: How dare you suggest that God would pass by us in his grace if we reject you! How dare you suggest that the Messiah would come & rescues Gentiles! They are the enemy! Mob formed and mob mentality took over. This action of throwing Jesus over a cliff was actually one way of attempting to stone him to death. The implication: they thought he was guilty of blasphemy.

30 But passing through their midst, he went away. Luke doesnt tell us how, only that Jesus didnt die here. 4

We see here a snapshot of the entire ministry of Jesus.

Important Question: Why did Luke include this story in his historical biography of Jesus? Key Point: Jesus did not come to start a new religion, but to fulfill an old promise. The old promise to bring healing and blessing to this world.

In stating the Gospel according to Jesus, Jesus claims to be: Messiah Saviour Prophet HOMEWORK: For those who are not yet Christians: Do I believe Jesus? Wherever the Gospel of Jesus is proclaimed, people have to answer a question: Do I believe him? YES: then you receive him as your Lord and become a follower of him; NO: then you write him off as a liar or a lunatic. Either we admit our spiritual poverty, bondage, blindness and oppression, or we throw Jesus off the proverbial cliff: I will not have this man rule over me. But before you do, let me ask you a question: to where else will you look? Where will you place your hope? In politicians? In our education system? Everything is supposed to be different from the way it is. Does that include you? Would you include yourself as part of the problem? The Times of London asked several of Britains leading intellectuals what they thought was the problem with the world. Journalist GK Chesterton sent back a postcard response: I am. Is it possible that part of the Good News of the Gospel according to Jesus is that you are part of the problem, and he has come to save people just like you? o If so, then we invite you to join usother people just like youwho believe that Jesus is on to something here, that he speaks truth about ourselves because of who he is. For those who are already Christians: Do I really believe this? Is Jesus really my Messiah? Or is my work? My family? My body? How is my life good news for the poor? The enslaved? The blind? The oppressed?

Imagine. Martin Luther captured the imagination of the world when he gave his famous & haunting speech simply known as, I have a dream It concludes with these words: 5

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Imagine the city of Calgarychanged. How are we going to get there? Easy button! Christian, you carry within you the message that can change this world.