(Matthew 4:12-17; Mark 1:14-15) (Luke 4:14-31)
JESUS IN THE SYNAGOGUE AT NAZARETH
READING TO THE CONGREGATION SCRIPTURE
PASTOR/TEACHER CHARLES e. WHISNANT
These verses relate events which are only recorded in Luke. They describe the first visit which our Lord paid, after entering on His public ministry, to the city of Nazareth, where He had been brought up. Taken together with the two verses which immediately follow, they furnish an awfully striking proof, that “the carnal mind is enmeity againt God (Romans 8:7)
- We can learn from the Lord's visit to the assembly of worshippers in the Jewish synagogue:
- We are not to lightly to forsake any assembly of worshipers which professes to respect the name, the day and the book of God.
- There may be many things in such an assembly which might be done better: there may be a deficiency of fullness, clearness, and distinctness in the doctrine preached.
Their sermon hearing does not prevent them living a life of thoughtlessness, worldliness and sin.
Luke 4:14-31 Verse 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
2363 Jesus Christ, preaching and teaching of
A vital feature of Jesus Christ’s ministry, focusing on his authoritative proclamation of the kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ’s mission as preaching and teaching
Lk 4:43 pp Mk 1:38 See also Mt 11:5 pp Lk 7:22; Mk 6:6; Jn 7:16; Ac 1:1
Jesus Christ was regarded as a teacher and prophet
- Jn 1:38 “Rabbi” was an honorific title given to Jesus Christ unofficially by the people. See also Mt 16:14 pp Mk 8:28 pp Lk 9:19; Mt 23:10; Mt 26:25; Mk 9:5; Mk 10:51; Jn 13:13
Jesus Christ’s words were grounded in Scripture
- Lk 24:27 See also Mt 4:4 Lk 4:4; Dt 8:3; Mt 21:16; Ps 8:2; Mt 22:29-32 Mk 12:24-27 Lk 20:35-38
- Jn 7:16 See also Jn 3:2; Jn 8:28; Jn 12:49-50
- Ac 1:2 See also Lk 4:14-15; Jn 3:34; Jn 6:63
The content of Jesus Christ’s preaching and teaching
The kingdom of God
- Lk 9:11 See also Mt 4:17,23; Mt 6:33; Mt 13:24; Mk 1:15; Jn 3:3
- Jn 14:8-14 See also Mt 6:31-32 Lk 12:30-31; Mt 10:32-33; Mt 18:10; Mk 11:25; Jn 5:17-23; Jn 8:18-19
- Jn 4:25-26 See also Mt 16:13-17 pp Mk 8:27-30 pp Lk 9:18-21; Lk 4:20-21; Lk 24:44; Jn 10:11; Jn 14:6-7
Jesus Christ’s mission
- Mk 9:31 pp Mt 17:22-23 Lk 9:44 See also Mt 20:17-19 pp Mk 10:32-34 Lk 18:31-34; Lk 19:9-10; Lk 24:46; Jn 6:51; Jn 10:14-15
Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
Where he had been brought up (ου ην τετραμμενος — hou ēn tethrammenos). Past perfect passive periphrastic indicative, a state of completion in past time, from τρεπω — trephō a common Greek verb. This visit is before that recorded in Mark 6:1-6; Matthew 13:54-58 which was just before the third tour of Galilee. Here Jesus comes back after a year of public ministry elsewhere and with a wide reputation (Luke 4:15). Luke may have in mind Luke 2:51, but for some time now Nazareth had not been his home and that fact may be implied by the past perfect tense.
Stood up (ανεστη — anestē). Second aorist active indicative and intransitive. Very common verb. It was the custom for the reader to stand except when the Book of Esther was read at the feast of Purim when he might sit. It is not here stated that Jesus had been in the habit of standing up to read here or elsewhere. It was his habit to go to the synagogue for worship. Since he entered upon his Messianic work his habit was to teach in the synagogues (Luke 4:15). This was apparently the first time that he had done so in Nazareth. He may have been asked to read as Paul was in Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:15). The ruler of the synagogue for that day may have invited Jesus to read and speak because of his now great reputation as a teacher. Jesus could have stood up voluntarily and appropriately because of his interest in his home town.
1.That it is our duty “regularly” to attend public worship.
2.That it is better to attend a place of worship which is not entirely pure, or where just such doctrines are not delivered as we would wish, than not attend at all.
It is of vast importance that the public worship of God should be maintained; and it is “our” duty to assist in maintaining it, to show by our example that we love it, and to win others also to love it. See Hebrews 10:25. At the same time, this remark should not be construed as enjoining it as our duty to attend where the “true” God is not worshipped, or where he is worshipped by pagan rites and pagan prayers. If, therefore, the Unitarian does not worship the true God, and if the Roman Catholic worships God in a manner forbidden and offers homage to the creatures of God, thus being guilty of idolatry, it cannot be a duty to attend on such a place of worship.
The synagogue - Matthew 4:23.
Verse 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
as delivered (επεδοτη — epedothē). First aorist passive indicative of επιδιδωμι — epididōmi to give over to, a common verb. At the proper stage of the service “the attendant” or “minister” (υπηρετης — hupēretēs under rower) or “beadle” took out a roll of the law from the ark, unwrapped it, and gave it to some one to read. On sabbath days some seven persons were asked to read small portions of the law. This was the first lesson or Parashah. This was followed by a reading from the prophets and a discourse, the second lesson or Haphtarah. This last is what Jesus did.
The book of the prophet Isaiah (βιβλιον του προπητου Εσαιου — biblion tou prophētou Esaiou). Literally, “a roll of the prophet Isaiah.” Apparently Isaiah was handed to Jesus without his asking for it. But certainly Jesus cared more for the prophets than for the ceremonial law. It was a congenial service that he was asked to perform. Jesus used Deuteronomy in his temptations and now Isaiah for this sermon. The Syriac Sinaitic manuscript has it that Jesus stood up after the attendant handed him the roll.
Found the place (ευρεν τον τοπον — heuren ton topon). Second aorist active indicative. He continued to unroll (rolling up the other side) till he found the passage desired. It may have been a fixed lesson for the day or it may have been his own choosing. At any rate it was a marvellously appropriate passage (Isaiah 61:1, Isaiah 61:2 with one clause omitted and some words from Isaiah 58:6). It is a free quotation from the Septuagint.
There was delivered unto him - By the minister of the synagogue, or the keeper of the sacred books. They were kept in an “ark” or chest, not far from the pulpit, and the minister gave them to whomsoever he chose, to read them publicly.
The place where it was written - Isaiah 61:1-2.