Jesus Reads in the Nazareth Synagogue

“The Scriptures Have Power”

Luke 4

Jesus entered the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth. It was just as He remembered from when He was a child, brought there by His father Joseph. He went to the front to read from the scriptures to those who had gathered.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

A few heads nodded, approving of the choice to read a familiar prophecy. It explained the coming of the Messiah and the miracles that He would perform. The people had read it many times before. Choosing to read this scripture showed that Jesus had been brought up well.

Jesus closed the book. “Today,” He said slowly, “this scripture is fulfilled before your eyes.”

The reverent atmosphere of the synagogue quickly turned into the angry humming of a disturbed hive.

“Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” one said to another.

“Is he claiming to be the Messiah?” said another angrily to his neighbor.

“No prophet is every accepted in His own city,” said Jesus, regaining their attention. “There were many starving widows in Israel during the three-year drought in Elias’ day. But he was only sent to save one, the Gentile woman Serepta in Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eliseus, but he only healed Naaman the Syrian.”

The low buzzing of tense whispers erupted into shouts of rage. The men of the synagogue rushed up to Jesus and grabbed Him, then roughly escorted Him out of Nazareth. Once they were outside the gates, they threw Him down the hill that the city was built on, yelling and laughing at Him.

Jesus sadly picked himself up from the ground, dusted Himself off, and left His city, now known as a disgraced blasphemer.

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