Jan 26th Bible Study Outline
Luke 4:14-30 Luke is considered the first part of a 2 part works; the second part is Acts. This work is frequently referred to as Luke-Acts.
Last Sunday Jim spoke on Luke 4:14-21 and this coming week he will preach on 4:21-30. Since the two sections make up one story we will consider them both together.
Read the passages.
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. News about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue as he usually did. He stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. Jesus unrolled it and found the right place. There it is written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me.
He has anointed me to announce the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to set free those who are treated badly.
19 And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free.”
20 Then Jesus rolled up the scroll. He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were staring at him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this passage of Scripture is coming true as you listen.”
22 Everyone said good things about him. They were amazed at the gracious words they heard from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23 Jesus said, “Here is a saying you will certainly apply to me. ‘Doctor, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me this. ‘Do the things here in your hometown that we heard you did in Capernaum.’ ”
24 “What I’m about to tell you is true,” he continued. “A prophet is not accepted in his hometown. 25 I tell you for sure that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah. And there had been no rain for three and a half years. There wasn’t enough food to eat anywhere in the land. 26 But Elijah was not sent to any of those widows. Instead, he was sent to a widow in Zarephath near Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel who had skin diseases in the days of Elisha the prophet. But not one of them was healed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were very angry when they heard that. 29 They got up and ran Jesus out of town. They took him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They planned to throw him off the cliff. 30 But Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
What do you think these words mean for us today? Here are the questions we will likely consider to get you started.
1: Luke has already set the stage for Jesus’ sermon in Nazareth. The baptism, genealogy, and temptation all highlight Jesus’ identity. What do the people of Nazareth not “get”? 2: What he preaches today will be the theme of his whole ministry. What is that? 3: When did the people change from being amazed to wanting to kill Jesus? Why? (Consider especially verses 21-27) 4: What message do you hear when you read this passage? 5: Can you think of an example where we may react to Jesus in the same way as the pope of Nazareth?
Here are some of Jim’s “teaser questions” regarding these passages.
Jesus chose to read from the prophet Isaiah when called upon to give the message at his hometown synagogue. He could have chosen from many other readings. Why do think this one was the one he chose?
If you were called upon to preach at our church, what reading would you choose? And why?
After reading from the scroll of Isaiah, in his message Jesus says that what Isaiah promised has now been fulfilled. What does “fulfilled” mean? Started, completed, or something else?
How can he say that the prophecy is fulfilled, when there are still people imprisoned, blind and oppressed?
Do you find this reading to be uplifting because of what it promises, or discouraged because even after 2000 years we still have the same problems in our world?
The last part of the reading from Isaiah proclaims “the year of the Lord’s favor”. Do you know what that means? It refers to “the Jubilee”, the Old Testament teaching that instructed every 50 years a cancellation of debts. The Jubilee was meant to restore people to land that had been seized to settle debts. In those times without your ancestral land you became a nobody. When you hear Jesus reading such a thing, claiming it is fulfilled, you get the impression that Jesus is on the side of the “nobodies” of his day. Were we to act upon this teaching how would the rest of our society react to us? How did they react to Jesus after he said it?
I look forward to seeing you all on the 26th and hearing your insights into these passages. I often see the Bible as a sort of mirror. When you honestly look into these words do you see anything of yourself or even folks around you?
I occasionally stumble on the truth but usually pick myself up quickly and move on. J
Jim M. Bible Study facilitator