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December 26, 2021 12:01 am
No one can be on neutral ground with respect to Jesus. We must either receive Him or reject Him as the promised Savior. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in Luke’s gospel by addressing the hostility Jesus received in His hometown of Nazareth.
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When Jesus spoke in his hometown synagogue, he declared himself to be the promised one that I want us to see here at the early stage of Jesus ministry. The response of the people of Nazareth to one of their own.
It was one of non-qualified rejection in the Synod on the day Jesus read from the book of Isaiah the prophet wrote of the one who would come as the sender, as the suffering servant of Israel and Isaiah use these words, he was despised and rejected today on Renewing Your Mind. Dr. RC Paul continues his series from the gospel of Luke ever going to see that it didn't take long, and Jesus earthly ministry for that prophecy to be fulfilled when lastly looked at this text we saw the astonishing statement that Jesus made on the occasion, where he visited the synagogue where he attended during his childhood with his family when he simply said today this scripture is fulfilled in your Mets obviously the people were astounded by what Jesus was saying they clearly got the message they understood that what he was saying was simply this right now right here in your presence. This tax is fulfilled in me.
I am the promised anointed one, of Israel, and when this occurs, we read. He closed the book and after he said that all bore witness to him and marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth and so they were stunned they were amazed and they marveled how can this be still positive in their response and lazy. Isn't this Joseph's son. We know little Jesus that used to work with Joseph. There in the carpenter's shop here in Nazareth we've seen him we know his brothers. We knew his sisters and now he's saying that he is the Messiah and Jesus picked up on this instantly. They know that like that evil and a dollars generation. They wanted to sign but heard the scuttlebutt in the rumors of his miraculous works there in the Galilee region is okay. Jesus let's say you do your stuff. Do it here.
Show us your power now because we know you knew any Foleys other people with your clever tricks.
But if you're really the Messiah, then give us a sign here that's what he was reading and there their responses and he said surely you will say this proverb to me. Physician heal your self whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also. Here in your country.
And so Jesus went on to say shortly. I say to you know prophet is accepted in his own country. Jesus went on to use two historical examples to illustrate his point both from the Old Testament boasts from the history of the office of the prophet. The first looked to Elijah and listen to what he said I tell you truly again when he says this is what he prefaces his statement with the word amen or all main this is a solemn statement. It's sort of like a hose or a bow where he saying before Almighty God when I'm about to say to you is the unvarnished truth and you need to hear it in all of its weightiness on so he said I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months.
3 1/2 years without writing a drought that came upon the land that brought with it a severe famine and he said none of them to whom was Elijah sent except as Arafat's in the region of Sidon to a woman there who was a Phoenicia woman and not an Israelite. She was a Phoenicia widow and so what Jesus is saying is the ministry that Elijah did the miracle that Elijah performed was not for somebody from his home nation.
There were many widows there, they could have ministered to in this miraculous fraction, but in the promise of God, God sent him the Sidon to the widow who was there to receive the blessing that Elijah would bring to her and in like manner, he said there were many lepers in Israel. In those days when Elisha, the successor to Elijah was functioning as a prophet but not one of them was cleansed through the power of the prophet Elisha, no Elisha was sent to Naaman the Syrian. The foreigner, the outsider, to Israel and order that he might be miraculously healed.
What Jesus I this is the economy of God. Why should I come to Nazareth and do anything for you but no honor here you're not really receiving me as the Messiah. Remember the Old Testament.
Elijah didn't come to the widows in Israel.
Elisha didn't come to the lepers in Israel, so I'm not coming to the centers in Nazareth. That's what he saying and so now you can see why you have this peroxidase him of anger and fury that erupts in that very moment against Jesus and thou instead of simply having their curiosity piqued about what this on Tom boy was going to do when he came here they are now filled with wrath then just get mad and walk out with a rose up through him out of the city and they let into the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that he might throw them down over the cliff and then passing through the midst of them. He went his way. But I want to see here at the early stage of Jesus ministry. The response of the people of Nazareth to one of their own. It was one of non-qualified rejection. Remember in that's same prophet Isaiah when he spoke of the future, one who would come as the sin bearer as the suffering servant of Israel.
They spoke in this manner saying he was despised and rejected of men that this was the MO of the Lord's anointed, that he would be despised and that he would be reject the let me look in contrast to words that come to us from the pen of the apostle John in the very beginning of his gospel in chapter 1 beginning at verse 10 John writes these words, he was in the world. The world was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own did not receive him to change the language here by way of illustrative license and haven't read like this.
He was in Nazareth and Nazareth was made through him, Nazareth did not know him. He came to his own Nazarene, and his own Nazarene did not receive him, that merely as an application of the particular through the universal because this happened throughout Israel.
He came to Israel.
He made Israel. Israel was his own, but they received him not. Or go beyond the scope Nazareth beyond the scope of Israel to the whole world they came to the world is Johnson the world was made by him, but the world didn't know him and beloved that is true this morning as it was true that day in Nazareth now many of you would be true that all of you do know, and that none of you in this congregation has rejected him or despised him and that you are here this morning because God in his mercy and his grace says called you out of the world and to himself. But as I said before, it's exceedingly unlikely that that would be true of everyone who was in this house this morning.
The odds are that there are people sitting within the sound of my voice today who have not received them will never received him, who have rejected him, and despite there being here this morning.
Beneath the mask of religion find the hearts of one who despises the Scriptures make it abundantly clear that with Jesus. There is never neutrality if you're not with him you are against him. If you are not his disciple. You are his enemy and your natural state, the state in which you were born. The Scriptures tell us was a state of enmity, the divine nature God is your enemy, and by nature, God's son is your enemy, and only a supernatural work of grace can change the disposition of your heart from one of antagonism to one of devoted love and religious affection unless God the Holy Spirit. Regenerate your soul and earns the disposition of your hearts, you will be reluctant and recalcitrant in your disavowal of the Lord's anointed, and others language that arises within the religious community. This is a natural thing that we have our own jargon. The same words are used endlessly and the religious community in one is always attracted my attention and one that I've kind of bristled when I hear it as sacrosanct as it is when people are involved in evangelism wellsite. Have you accepted Christ, accepting Jesus this somehow, the language that describes conversion where one turns around from his hostility towards Christ are now embracing him in love and affection I have to tell you little secret. Don't tell anybody. This I hate that language I just can't stand it. It is so patronizing the site by accepted Jesus what you accepted Jesus you made allowances for him to see help patronizing, that sounds like let's intone the farmhouse is not what you accept Jesus as whether he accept you if you finally come the place for your sake. Well now Jesus is acceptable to me.
Where before he was completely unacceptable be really believe what you're saying there the language to study you're still receive him another word it's close in the Scripture is to receive Jesus to receive Jesus is not exactly the same as to accepted to accept somebody in our modern language is to tolerate them to receive them in biblical categories is to embrace to see the difference in the language of the New Testament is not one of acceptance. It's of embracing effect when the Bible speaks of believing in Christ, or believing into Christ. It means to welcome him to receive him to trust him to embrace him with all of your heart. We read there in that prologue of John that I was reading from a moment ago he came to his own and his own did not receive him, but as many as received him, to them he became and it's interesting to get the different translations here it says in this one he gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in his name who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. This translation says to those who receive Jesus.
He gave them the right other places will say he gave them the power I'll still others will say gave them the authority the world there is the term X Lussier which can mean authoritative power or powerful authority and is used in both ways in the New Testament. Sometimes it is used to describe the transcendent force and power of God, but other times it refers to the supernatural authority of God here. This translator gives a rather weak translation to give them the right know when you receive Christ, it's because you put your faith in him and because you have faith you are justified before God and as a consequence of that justification comes up with it immediately. Adoption into the family of God, so that now you have the privilege and the authority to say the father, God is no longer your enemy.
He is your heavenly father because you receive the Lord Jesus Christ and embrace him. The Lord Jesus Christ covers you with his own heavenly mantle, he becomes your older brother because God only has one child, the only begotten, as we heard in the Nicene Creed this morning. Only one natural son every other child of God is an adopted child of God.
We are not by nature the children of God. We are by nature the children of hell and so the only thing that changes our status ultimately from hell to heaven is receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the last thing in the world.
These people of Nazareth were willing to do now is not hinted at already, perhaps more than hinted by way of application where you with Christ. As I said there is no middle ground. There is no neutrality, you're either with him for him or you're against him and as you examine your own heart this morning. You need to answer that question because it's the most important question you will ever answer in your lifetime, your eternal destiny depends on how you answer that question, do I receive him or do I rejected and further ask yourself this.
If you do reject him. Why why he rejected Martin Luther when he was going through his conscientious struggles as a monk in the monastery in Erfurt. He muttered on one occasion you asked me though I love God, love God.
Sometimes I hate God. Why, because God represented to him the most formidable obstacle to everything he wanted to be able to do freely and with impunity.
Take a moment to think about how the culture in which you live. Response to the law of Almighty God of the people in our country willing to embrace sexual tract chastity and purity, orderly revolts, body and soul against the prohibition against sexual sin. We live in a culture where people can't make three sentences out of their mouth without blaspheming the name of God the name of Christ.
You see, Christ stands as the supreme obstacle to your sin if you received him, you have to own up to your sin.
If the fall on your face in repentance. Yet the beg for the forgiveness of God for the way in which you violated his law, but if we can reject Jesus and reject the one who sent him. Oh, free from the law of blessed condition. We can sin all we want and still have remission of the day comes for every man, every woman we stand before the throne of Almighty God, because it's appointed once to die, and then the judgment. And God has appointed the day by which he will judge the world through the one whom he has appointed judge, whom he has vindicated by the power of the resurrection, and on that day Jesus will either be your judge. All he will be your defense attorney because if you reject him now the reject you, then I'm not trying to appeal to you to embrace Christ simply as a ticket out of hell but it's a good idea because if you don't receive him that he will not receive you, and Luke tells us this is how it started there in Nazareth and all of what happened in Nazareth was dear friends was a foretaste of what was waiting for Jesus in Jerusalem. Are you with them or against the reject him or do you receive God grant you receive him and all of his Majesty and all of his Excellency and all sweetness and in all of his love. Now and forever, say poignant summary of the gospel is in it. Christ came to save sinners and I think the questions that RCS there bear repeating. Do you receiving or do you reject them.
The sermon we just turns from Dr. RC Sproul series from the gospel of Luke. He preached it at St. Andrews Chapel. The church that he copastor for many years. We returned to the study each Lord's day, and as we clearly heard today, we find important lessons in every passage the same careful study and insight that we heard from RC today can be found in his commentary on Luke's gospel. I hope you'll contact us today with your donation of any amount so that we can send you a digital download of this nearly 600 page commentary or offices are always closed on the Lord's day, but you can give your gift to make a request online and Renewing Your Mind.org. If you are new to this program that we call Renewing Your Mind. Let me welcome you. This is a daily outreach of regular ministries which Dr. scroll. That is why best of founded 50 years ago. RC's motivating principle was to help people know what they believe in.
Why they believe it. And to this day, our desires to come alongside the local church to provide resources like the sermon we just heard from Luke is never been our desire to replace your fellowship with your local church. With that in mind, we do hope that you're a member of a Bible believing church that you're availing yourself to the means of grace that God has provided for you. There that you're attending faithfully hearing God's word preached and that you're enjoying fellowship with other believers, we like to say here that the church is not God's plan B if plan a day in fact it's his only plant we here at Winter ministries are grateful for the opportunity to support the local church after Jesus escape the crowd that wanted to kill him. He made his way to Capernaum. While Jesus was teaching the people, a man possessed by a demon confronted Jesus the words that came from a demon are astonishing and we will study them next Sunday here on Renewing Your Mind