Christ grew up in Nazareth with His family. But He left the carpenter shop in the autumn of 27 A.D. to start His public ministry. Christ’s first visit to Nazareth was probably in late spring of A.D. 29, and nearly half the period of His public ministry (Luke 4:16-30). A year later, around early spring of A.D. 30, He went for His next and final visit to this city (Mark 6:1–6).
In Christ’s first visit, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as His custom was (Luke 4:16). He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to read. And He read the following: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:18-19).
Then, Christ declared to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21). This announcement made the audience aware that Jesus declared His mission as the Messiah who came to deliver people from their sins. And that His kingdom was a spiritual one. Sadly, they refused to believe that He could be the Promised One, and their lack of faith hardened their hearts against Him. They saw Him as a common man and they said to one another “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 2:34, 35, 51).
The Jew’s concept of salvation was a matter of nationality rather than a personal relationship with God. This idea blinded them to the real nature of Christ’s work and led them to reject Him. They anticipated the Messiah to be a powerful king and deliver them from their enemies. They didn’t want to accept the prophecies that spoke of a suffering Messiah (Isaiah 53) and instead, they misapplied the prophecies of His glorious second coming to His first coming.
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country” (v. 23,24). They asked to see miracles. But “he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58).
Jesus attempted to reveal to the people of Nazareth the truth of their true condition (Luke 4:23–27) but they were angered against Him and they rose up “and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff” but he passed through the crowds unharmed (v. 29,30). Jesus came to His own but they received Him not (John 1:11).
In His service,
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