8. Journey to the cross: Home town rejection!

We must always keep in mind that the Bible was meant to be a record of the genealogy and family history of the descendants of Adam through Seth through Abraham through Isaac through Jacob (a.k.a. ISRAEL) through Judah through David through Joseph (and Mary) through Jesus and his followers, plus eye-witnesses and researchers who wrote testimonies about His birth, life, death, resurrection, and what happened AFTER His resurrection.

*   *   *

“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He 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 4:14-21, NIV)

“‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.

“Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:2b-6, NIV)

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Imagine that someone you have known since childhood suddenly began claiming that he is the Messiah, favored by God. What would be your initial gut reaction? This situation is presenting itself in your city, in your neighborhood, at your family gatherings … in your face! How would you respond?

Now think about what Jesus did. He let his actions speak in conjunction with the prophecies that everyone in that culture and community had been forced to memorize from childhood. His life reflected fulfillment of words written down by revered, ancient servants of God — he proclaimed good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners held captive by oppression and fear, and recovery of sight for the blind. And he assured people that God loved them, no matter who they were or what they had done. And he assured them that they could be made right with God and be assured of spending eternity with him, by believing IN HIS SON, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) — the Messiah who was foretold by the prophets of old.

And with that in mind, how should you respond to that childhood friend’s claim? Understanding prophecy connections gives us a firm foundation on which to stand when we’re faced with similar challenges.

Do you believe it?

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