- Sermon Notes
Jesus was Sent for You
At this point in our study through the book of Luke, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John, was led by the Spirit in the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. At the end of His time in the wilderness, He was tempted by the enemy but demonstrated spiritual victory for us when He used the Word of God to defeat the enemy.
Starting in Luke 4:14, Jesus returned from the wilderness to the area around the Sea of Galilee in the power of the Spirit. This is a powerful example for our lives as well. Being baptized in the Jordan, He was led by the Spirit. Many people have the initial experience of receiving Christ, but don't understand what it means to be led by the Spirit.
Romans 8:5-6, … Those who are according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit… the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
Jesus will spend a lot of his ministry time in the area around the Sea of Galilee and the news about Him spread throughout that area and He was praised by all.
But our story today actually takes place in the town of Nazareth, where He had been brought up. In other words, He returned to his hometown where He had gone to high school, and where He had been trained as a carpenter under his father Joseph.
In Nazareth, Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read and the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He opened the book to chapter 61 which was a prophecy He was about to fulfill.
In those verses God has revealed the purpose for which He sent His Son. One thing we should immediately notice is that God's purpose in sending His Son is all about you and me.
Jesus read from Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor…"
What does it mean that He was preaching under the Spirit’s anointing? It means that these are God-breathed words. They are sent with God's power to accomplish the purpose for which they were sent. Whenever you receive God's Word, God is breathing His Word into you.
The same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus as He preached the good news to the poor has been given to the church and we are now asked to take this message of good news to the world. But remember, these words are anointed. They are sent with God's power to accomplish the purpose for which He sent it.
If God's purpose in sending His Son is all about you and me, then we need to put ourselves into the story and understand how these words apply to us.
I. We Must Recognize Our Need
- Before we look at each part of this anointed Word, it's important to realize the significance of what Jesus didn't say; why did he stop there?
- In Isaiah 61, the very next phrase following reads, "…and the day of vengeance of our God."
- God first sent His Son to proclaim the good news of God's love, but God will send His Son the second time to proclaim the day of God's justice upon the earth.
A. Blessed is the one who knows he is blind
- In these words we see who it is that God had in mind when He sent His Son; the poor, those held in bondage, those that are blind, and those that are downtrodden.
- But the gospel is only good news to those who know they are in need. There's an old saying, "There are none so blind as those who refuse to see."
- Jesus said this Himself to the Pharisees and scribes in Luke chapter 5…
Luke 5:27-32 "It is not those who are well who need a physician"
- Then, in the book of Revelation, Jesus said the same even more powerfully to the church at Laodicea, which many see as a picture of the condition of things in our modern age…
Revelation 3:17-18, "Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
- To those who know they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, these words in Luke chapter 4 are great encouragement because they reveal God's heart after them.
- Many people think of God as always being angry with them for their terrible condition, but God is the one doing something about it.
- That's what Jesus was saying in Revelation chapter 3, "To those who are poor in spirit, I will fill you with the presence of the living God. To those who are held captive, I will break the chains of the addictions and habits that have power over you so that you may be free; and he who the Son sets free is free indeed.
- To those who live in darkness, I will give you eyes to see the beauty of the Lord, and to have God's perspective on your life, which is what you need for victory.
- To those who are downtrodden, those who are bruised and beaten by this world, I would give you comfort, I will pour out my love upon your life and you can cast your cares upon Me for I will carry your burden and your sorrows."
B. This is the favorable year of the Lord
- These are some of my favorite words here in verse 19. Jesus came to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
- This seems to be a reference to the Jewish year of Jubilee. Every seventh year was to be a Sabbath year of rest. Instead of plowing and planting, they were to rest and give the land rest but harvesting only the "volunteers" that grew.
Matthew 11:28, "Come to, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
- Then, after they were seven Sabbath years, or 49 years, they were to have a year of Jubilee on the 50th year.
- In this year, everyone who was in bondage of slavery had to be set free, all debts were forgiven, and everyone must return to take possession of the land God gave to his family when Israel first came to their promised land.
- Here again the Jewish law was prophetically looking forward to Jesus proclaiming the favorable year of the Lord, removing the burden of our debts and setting us free so that we might live in the fullness of God's blessing and favor on our lives because of the salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Illus - There was a movie in the 80s called The Mission that powerfully captures the way many people think of their burdens. The movie is about a slave trader in South America named Rodrigo Mendoza who is hard and cold of heart. When he finds his brother in bed with his fiancée he kills his brother and falls into despair. Finally, he turns to Father Gabriel, a Jesuit priest, who suggests the penance of carrying a net filled with his armor and weapons and scaling the mighty Iguazu Falls… Here's the problem; he's the hero of the story; and he carries his own burden.
II. We Must Respond in all Faith
- First, after hearing those anointed words, the men in the synagogue were amazed at the gracious words He spoke.
- But when Jesus challenged them to respond in faith they took great offense.
- But isn't that exactly what God wants for us to do in response to His offer of help and healing and hope?
A. We need stronger faith
- Jesus brought up two examples of faith; the widow of Zaraphath and Naaman the leper. The offensive part to them was that neither the widow of Zaraphath or Naaman the leper was from Israel.
- Jesus wants them to see that it's all about faith and that's how God wants us to respond to Him. That's far more important than if someone was born Jewish.
1 Kings 17:8-16 The faith of the widow of Zaraphath
- Naaman the leper also had to decide that he would trust in the word that God had sent to him.
- The point here for us is that our faith pleases God, but we must also remember that there are different degrees of faith.
- There is a faith we might call tentative faith. It's the kind of faith I have when I'm trying to cross a rope bridge. I’m movin’, but I'm not very sure.
- But there is another kind of faith where the heart is resolved, the mind is made, there is no turning back…
2 Timothy 1:12, I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that day.
Joshua 24:15, "Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
- If you are a Christian, then you've made your decision, there's no turning back. Don't look over your shoulder back to Egypt, back to the world from which you are saved. If you keep looking back, your faith cannot grow in strength.
- After Jesus left Nazareth, He came down to Capernaum and when He would teach them they were amazed because He had such authority.
- He then began to cast out unclean spirits and again they were amazed saying, "What is this message? For with authority and power He commands unclean spirits, and they come out."
- The authority of Jesus is a theme that runs through the book of Luke. He has authority and power over the demonic realm.
- In other words, our faith is based on the authority of Christ. When we understand that He is the Son of God, sent with God's heart and God's message of love and hope and that God sent Him with authority, our faith is strengthened.
- But we must also understand that we are not called to be a defeated people, but victorious, because He is our victor and He sends forth His Word now through us.
Matthew 16:18, "… upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Illus - Many years ago Jordi and I used to manage apartments while I was going to Bible college. One day someone came to do some work for us and brought their two boys who were a bit rambunctious. They climbed high in a magnolia tree in the courtyard and that's when our six-year-old daughter, Nicole, came out with her hands on her hips and called them down with authority. Why? because her dad was the manager.
Matthew 28:18-20, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
2 Corinthians 5:19-20, He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Luke 4:14-44 NASB
14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message
was with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 "Let us
alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-the Holy One of God!" 35 But Jesus
rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without
doing him any harm. 36 And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, "What is this message? For with authority
and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out." 37 And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.