Pastor JD preached from Luke 4 today where Jesus stood up in the temple and read from Isaiah. Surely this would spark some sense of recognition in the Jews that prophesy was being fulfilled and their Messiah had come. Instead His words of proclamation of God's grace to outsiders (those other than Jews) infuriated the Jews. So why did it make them so mad? Pastor JD gives 5 reasons for such a reaction:
1. Jesus' kingdom included other ethnicities -- it shattered racism, even today it does. None of us earns God's grace. We are each the ultimate outsider.
2. Jesus' kingdom included people with dark pasts and present sins. Is 64:6 states that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. The word filthy actually means the most disgusting filth, like rags of leprous, diseased people. So again, none of us earns God's grace. It is freely given to those who accept Him.
3. Jesus movement was not a political movement
4. Jesus would not immediately right all wrongs or end all suffering.
5. Jesus was focused on heart change, not external obedience -- the Jews were into rituals and legalism instead of caring about what was inside.
Jesus wants us to love Him from our hearts and let our actions show this love to those around us. Real faith is where the inexplicable meets the undeniable. The undeniable is that Jesus is Lord, the Messiah, the King of Kings. Sometimes you just can't explain why things happen the way they do but God has His reasons and is in control. Sometimes He withholds the blessings so we know we are searching for Him not just His blessings. Real faith is believing He is who He said He was despite the unusual aspects of His appearance and the fact that He would not always perform the miracles typically associated with the Saviour. When he fed the 5000 with the loaves and fishes, the flocked to Him so much that He his in the mountains and the next day instead of feeding them again, preaching the Sermon on the Mount so they would know that it's all about feeding the inside not feeding the body. Some people still don't get it. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and all your strength, despite your circumstances.
If you'd like to join me at church sometime, I'd love to have you. We have many services and I can go to whichever works for you. Let me know if you have needs I can pray with you about and I'd love to have some feedback.