Are you lost?
Find your way. Find Jesus.
“Boy haven’t you grown”
“I remember when you were only this big”
“Why didn’t you perform any of your party tricks when you were living in Nazareth?”
I wonder if these are the words that Jesus heard when he returned to his old stomping ground. Did he have one of those Aunties that grabs your cheeks in such a patronising way – you know the ones?
In Luke 4:14-30 we see Jesus return to Nazareth, read the Bible, and preach a sermon. The local Nazarenes didn’t like what he said. They were amazed and astonished at the way that he taught – but they didn’t really take his message to heart. Instead they tried to kill him. But it wasn’t yet Jesus’ time.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is more than just some country boy who moves to the city and then makes it big. Jesus isn’t just a cool guy to have around at parties (although water into wine is very useful!). Almost every religion is willing to accept that Jesus was a great teacher – but he was much more than that!
Jesus is the Spirit-Anointed one who brings Salvation
Jesus identifies himself with the Isaiah 61 passage that he read out in the Synagogue. Jesus is the one Anointed by the Spirit (already made obvious in Luke 3 with Jesus’ baptism and Luke 4 with Jesus’ temptation in the dessert) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour to the poor, prisoners, blind and the oppressed.
Jesus’ mission? To seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). The people in vv18-19 are lost. They are helpless. They are without hope. They are homeless bums, they are destitute, and they are troubled. Jesus came to seek and save people like that. When Jesus meets their physical needs – ultimately it is pointing to their far greater spiritual need.
Jesus is the Spirit-Anointed one who brings Judgement
In Isaiah 61 not only does it say that the Spirit-anointed one will bring salvation – he will also bring judgement. That is clear in this passage. There is judgement upon the people of Nazareth for rejecting their own local boy as there is judgment upon Israel in the time of Elijah and Elisha. Ironically, in taking offence at Jesus’ teaching, the Nazarenes try to kill Jesus. This is judgment upon them. Ultimately this near miss points us to the way that Jesus will rescue the lost: his death on the cross.
Are you lost or found?
Jesus brings both salvation and judgment. There are religious nuts that don’t recognise their need for Jesus. Jesus will judge those that reject him. Whether you are physically rich or poor – you are spiritually lost – and only in Jesus, the Spirit-Anointed one, can you be found.