Spending March w/ Jesus 3-5-09 "Jesus got booted"

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

Read Luke 4:16-30

Have you ever seen something that was going really well, take a sudden turn for the worst? One time I was in a basketball game in college. We were playing Newbury college and I had just gone on one of the hottest streaks of my entire basketball career. I scored 36 points in a matter of 14 minutes. I'll never forget the game. We were down by ten at the half and I remember telling James Capozzi,who was in the crowd while we were warming up for the start of the 2nd half, that I was going to go for 20 in the half and win the game. I only had about 5 points in the first half and was quite for the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half. Then I hit a shot with the shot clock expiring and it sparked my fire. From that point on, the hoop was as big as the Atlantic. I hit 3 after 3 after 3 from everywhere on the court. And ones, up and unders, free throws, mid-range jumpers; I just couldn't miss. I remember looking up into the stands at Beth (who was holding Daniel) and then James, and making an expression like "I have no idea why everything is going in?" Next thing I know we are up 10 points with 1 minute left and I just went went on a scoring spree that I have never witnessed before. It was crazy and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Then it took a turn....FOR THE WORST. Our team literally just shut down with one minute left. Somehow, with one minute left and down 10 points, Newbury found themselves now up 1 point with 6 seconds left. I can't even remember how that happened. They were about to pull off the biggest comeback that I would ever be a part of.

End of Story...I hit the game winner with no time left on the clock and we won by 1. Best game of my career.

Luke 4:14-30 is a story of how quickly something could go wrong after being so right. Jesus is in his home town probably with his family and crew. He's at the church that he grew up in, and people were probably excited to see him. At that time there were a lot of talk about Jesus because of miracles that he was performing in Capernaum. (Side note, Luke was not written in chronological order like other gospels.) While at church, Jesus picks up a scroll and reads a prophecy about himself out of Isaiah. he basically told the group that the Messiah is here and standing before you. The crowd was overwhelmingly joyful. Scripture says that the crowd "spoke well of him and was amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips."

Then it turned! To preface his next statement, he first warned the crowd by saying, "Easy, don't talk so highly of me yet, because I am about to tell you something that will make you want to literally throw me off of a cliff." Then he shares an analogy and communicated to the Jews that the Kingdom of God is not just for the good, moral, law following Jews. Instead he tells them that the Kingdom of God is for the repentant sinners of the world." This is how the Jews responded. One minute they were filled with Joy that the messiah was before them and the next minute, scripture tells us "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff."

Why did they turn so fast? Why were they ready to throw Jesus off of a cliff? The answer; "SPIRITUAL PRIDE!!"

The Jews thought that salvation was for only those who were good morel Jews. How dare salvation be offered to those who don't try hard. I try hard, I sacrifice, I am a good person. I deserve the Kingdom of God.

Don't we all act like this sometimes. Don't we sometimes look at people who are lost and don't know Christ with some sort of internal spiritual pride. Almost as if we are better than they are? None of us would intentionally do this or even admit it for that matter, but if your honest; it's there. It's in us to act and think like this. Truth be told, if we were one of the religious people in the room, we would have been trying to throw Jesus over a cliff as well. How dare he stomp on my self righteous party.

This is what I pull away from this scripture.

If I am not willing to put myself in situations where people are turning against me and kicking me out, than I have to ask if I am compromising TRUTH? Jesus was full of truth, he lived truth and was truth. I believe that Christians need to be less combative with their approach towards TRUTH, however stand firm in the fact that "ONLY WE HAVE THE TRUTH." Ultimately we'll walk away like Jesus; totally and supernaturally unharmed. Scripture says "Jesus walked right through the mob and went on his way."


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