Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 618 · 1 month ago

The Gospel of Luke #16

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Luke 4:14-30

Unto the Lord's Word this morning. We need his illumination to come upon it. And so let us first pray before we read God's word. And now, Lord, we come to THY holy word, the word that you, through the ages, have protected, the word which you have kept pure, the Lord that even today, about two thousand years separated from you, we still have that word, that faithful word, that we can trust him. And so, Lord, we thank you for your word. We thank you particularly this morning for the Gospel accounts of your earthly life and ministry and how much it has to teach us. And so, Lord, I pray, as we look at this account where you were rejected by the people of your own hometown, and I pray that you would speak to us and help us not to be offended, as you said to uh your apostles. Would you be offended also? Lord? We would not be offended, but would want to hear your word and we'd wanted to speak to our hearts this morning. So illuminate us, make it clear, enlighten our eyes that we maybe hold wondrous things out of your law. For this we pray in Christ name. Amen. If you turn in your bibles to follow along with Luke Chapter Four. I'm going to be reading UH Luke Um, beginning with verse, excuse me, Verse Fourteen, and through verse thirty. And again I remind you that this is God's word. and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and the report about and went out through all the surrounding country and he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up and, as was his customer, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and he stood up to read and the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah was given to him. He and rolled the scroll and found a place where was written the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him and he began to say to them. Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing, and all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, is not this Joseph's son? And he said to them, doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, physician Hell Yourself. What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well. And he said, truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows and Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months and a great famine came over the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zopath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the Prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only name and the Syrian. When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath and they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. Thus, since the reading of God's word, please be seated. So last week we finished looking at the temptation account of Jesus and the Wilderness and looked at how the main temptation of Christ throughout his life was going to be to avoid going to the cross. Well now this morning we come to the return to his own hometown and we're going to look...

...get the rejection that comes to him there at that town. And I want to start with looking at verses fourteen through one. And so I told you last week, when we look at the second and third temptations of Jesus in Luke, that those temptations were exactly the opposite in Matthew and that what was the second temptation and Luke was the third temptation in Matthew and vice versa. And I told you then that Luke was not so interested in telling the chronology of the events, but he has interested more in themes and putting things together in a certain order. And I mentioned that in the Temptation Account Luke has opposed to Matthew, doesn't give time marker words. He uses just a conjunctive word that just goes on. In Greek it's Kay, but in in English it's a simple word. And and if you look through this chapter here, you'll see there's a lot of hands at the beginning of verse and that that's all luke is do this is putting them together. But he's not saying, like Matthew does, and then and afterwards. He's not doing that because it's not a chronology that he's doing and not. Why is that important here? Because again, verse fourteen starts with add why does that matter? It matters because there's about a year of ministry that occurs between verse Thirteen and Verse Fourteen here of Luke Chapter Four, and that can be confusing to people because Luke doesn't record it or talk about it. He talks about Jesus returning in the power of the spirit to Galilee, but he doesn't tell us what happens in that first year. And all of those events are recorded for us by John. Well not all of them, but the ones John Chooses de pick in that year and they're found in John Chapter one through four. But a man by the name of Dr Stalker UH divided the Ministry of the Lord into four parts. He said first there was the Year of obscurity, which is what gives to us in his Gospel, and then there is a year of public favor Um, which would be this year, although it doesn't really start with much public favor, but uh, that's what he calls it. Then there is a year of obscurity and then he says there is the end. Now I don't know that that's inspired or anything I got, but but it does kind of give us a cycle of the Lord's Ministry and I think those kind of things happen again and again. So it can appear in your bibles at verse fourteen, happens right after verse thirteen, but I want you to see that it doesn't. And so Jesus coming in the Holy Spirit, power the spirit. This is Luke's third reference to the Holy Spirit in this chapter. If you're talking, we are following, I should say. And so we see that in verse one he was full of the Holy Spirit and also led by the spirit. Now he comes in the power of the spirit and Luke mentions the report of him goes out throughout the surrounding country. So we have a summary of the activities of Jesus beginning in Verse Fifteen, that he's teaching in all the synagogues being glorified of all. And although most of the versions translate the verb there he taught, which is is a fine translation, but the more literal translations translates he was teaching. And the reason because in the Greek this isn't imperfect, which means that it's not a completed action. And so instead of just and he taught, it's it. I think better. You know, and I'm not criticizing our translation, but I think it's better to say that he was teaching, because it gives us an idea of the importance of teaching in this ministry time of Jesus. But the reception is going to be a little different in Nazareth. It begins, as Luke says here, has his custom was. In other words, what was his custom? His custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day. I'm going to come back to that and the application and you might be able to guess a little bit what I'm gonna you in that. But as his customers,...

...it says he stands to read. Now, in those days the ruler of the synagogue could really pretty much decide whoever he wants to to do the reading. And give this sermon, he would decide he was qualified and do that. So apparently the ruler of the synagogue and Nazareth has asked Jesus to do this. But before everything is done and Jesus has finished, he's going to find rejection here at Nazareth. Now again, the Gospel accounts can be a little confusing when you try to compare them, because if you read Matthew and Luke, excuse me, Matthew and mark, it appears that Jesus rejection at Nazareth happens much later than Luke gives it here, and this gives rise to many to believe there are actually two rejections at Nazareth. Now I think really there's only one, because uh Jesus says the same thing about no profit being acceptable in his own town, and he bade sally says the same thing in Matthew and mark, and so I believe these are the same. But some say that Luke puts it at the beginning of Jesus Ministry because this is going to be kind of the way his ministry is going to go. He's gonna Start, people are going to be wondering at him and excited and then they're uh, they're not going to like him at all and they're and they're going to reject some reject him. Hendrickson in his commentary says the Ministry of Jesus usually follows three stages enthusiastic interest, then amazement and then rejection. It's also interesting to think about this Um Jesus, we know, was born at Bethlehem, a center of Ministry. When we read the Gospels, appeared to be out of Capernum, where Peter was from, and that appears to be where center of Ministry was. And yet he will always be known as Jesus of Nazareth. In part of the reason this is interesting is because there seems no good reason to identify with Nazareth. You might remember Nathaniel's comment to Philip in the beginning of the gospel of John, where he says can any good thing come out of Nazareth? That's the reputation that Nazareth had those days. And the town of Nazareth. You can't find it mentioned in the Old Testament anywhere. You don't find it mentioned in the Jewish talment anywhere. You don't even find it mentioned in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. So it's pretty a negligible town, and yet our Lord is going to make its name great. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Yes, indeed, something good can come out of Nazareth. Our Lord comes out, and so over seventeen we have a summary report of a sermon preached by Christ. Now we have a lot of the teaching of Christ recorded, but this is the only place we have which is kind of a summary of a sine dog sermon. And really this account is thought by many to be the earliest account we have of a synagogue service. Now, those who have researched a synagogue service say that it had these elements. There would be the Shima, which was Deuteronomy six four. Here Israel, the Lord, our God is one Lord, and there would be blessings and thanksgivings with that. Then there'd be a prayer with an amend by the congregation, just like we do, reading from the pentituch or from the first five books of the Bible, very similar again what we did here this morning are reading from the Prophets. Uh. They would then have and then a sermon like we're doing here, and a Benediction, like we will do so very similar. So the services of the Church today are very similar to what the synagogue services seemed to be. And we're told that the role of the Prophet Isaiah was given to him. Now what we don't know, because none of the gospel writers tell us us. Was this role pick doubt by Jesus beforehand, or was this where the ruler of the synagogue...

...just gave him and he began to read? There? We we don't know. But we know that our Lord knew exactly what he wanted to read and as the man Jesus has been studying the scriptures throughout his life, he knew where the scriptures were and he knew what he wanted to say, and so he read the verses. Here in verse eighteen and Nineteen had come to us out of Isaiah Sixty one versus one and two. Now I noted earlier that says Jesus was continually teaching wherever he went. But what's interesting here in this verse is three times in this passage we have the word for preaching or proclaiming, and so Jesus not only his teaching, but his ministry is also to preach or to proclaim. We have that the puritans used to say God had only one son and he made him a preacher. Now What's interesting to me, for that might be a little interesting to you. I read that in somebody's commentary. There wasn't a puritan and in my reading and the Puritan this morning, writer Thomas Goodwin, said exactly that. So well, that's that's interesting. I didn't even know the Puritan said it until I read it in another book and now here I come upon it in my daily reading. So that was good. Um. But if you're looking at the Isaiah scripture this morning, which I don't know that any of you are need to be, but if you're looking at Isaiah sixty one and that you are comparing it to the scripture here that Luke gives us, we find that it's not exactly the same. For example, Jesus skips the phrase in Isaiah to bind up to brokenhearted and the phrase opening the eyes of the blind that Jesus used in the Old Testament. It is the opening of prison to those that are bound. And I'm not going to go into all the reasons why there are differences here, but there are good reasons that are here. It could be that the scroll of this synagogue was actually translated that way because there were different translations depending upon the Septuagient, the Greek translation they had and different things like that. It could be that some of this is Jesus comment on the passage, or could be that Jesus is interested in giving the main intent of the passage, or could be a lot of other things. But that that really doesn't matter. There's nothing out of the ordinary or nothing conflicting here in what Jesus says. But the question of people, I'm sure you've heard this before, if you've ever heard a sermon on this passage. I'm sure this has been brought up to you and this is something you're very familiar with, which is why does Jesus Stop the passage when he does? Why does he stop reading where he does? Because he stopped reading with to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and he doesn't go on to say and the day of vengeance of our God. So why does he do that? Now there's different ideas and I'm sure you've heard, and probably there's truth to this, that the reason is that his first coming was not to come in the day of vengeance but was to come to proclaim liberty. But he will come again, the second time for judgment, and perhaps that's why he does it. But again, Jesus says, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Now, what is the year of the Lord's favor? You probably know what it is. It was the year of you believe it was the year when slaves were set free. It was. It was the year when deaths were canceled. It was the day that all of this stuff that Jesus is talking about here in this passage is what he's come to do. It's defined for us and what's going on is given to us in Leviticus, Chapter Twenty Five. But Jesus comes to give liberty, and he said in John if the sun set you free, you will be free indeed. So the question is, how do we understand what Jesus says here about his ministry? Is he speaking literally or is he speaking spiritually? My aunt's it would be yes. That's how I would...

...answer it. We could say, is he speaking of the literal poor, the literal captives, the literal blind and the literally oppressed, or is he speaking spiritually of those who are poor in spirit, those who are in captivity to the devil, those who are blind in regards to spiritual things and those were spiritually oppressed by the devil. I think scriptures lead to both. Acts Ten thirty eight. How God annoying that Jesus of Nazareth, with the Holy Spirit and power, he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. But I think we also have to include literal because he did open the eyes of the literal blind right, and he did these other things. So I think we can say both of those are there. And so in verse twenty, Jesus Rolls The screw up, scroll up, gives it to the attendant and sits down and every eye is upon him. Why? Because he sat down time for the sermon. I told you that the living in the parables study knows that. I talked about how, uh in the beginning of Matthew Thirteen, when Jesus gives the parable he goes to the boat and sits out and everybody else stands and I said I think that's a good practice. I should be sitting, you all should be standing. A spurgeon said it would stop people from falling asleep in church. Um If we did that, although I've known people that can sleep standing up, so maybe that wouldn't work either. But I could lobby for that practice, but I won't here. But Anyway, uh, because then I know sometimes I'll be listening to a sermon don't have to stand, so I don't want to do that. So Uh. In Verse Funny One, though. He has a very short application. He says today the Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. And we think about that. That's not the greatest application there's ever been given to a sermon. Now, every time I'm preach a sermon it's my goal at the end of the sermon to make application. I want expositive to text to as best I can, but then I want to apply the text here everyday life. I seek to do that, maybe to give a better understanding of your salvation or understanding of the Lord. But in all the sermons I've ever preached I've never had an application as wonderful or powerful as this. He says this is the day you've been waiting for. This is the greatest day in the history of mankind. This is a day when all of the prophecies you've been studying are coming true. This is where God is coming to do what he has promised. This is a day of salvation, this is a day of liberty, this is all of these things. I am the one you're waiting for. I am the fulfillment of all these script scriptures. This is a wonderful time and of course all the people get excited and there's great rejoicing and the Latin no, not exactly. The first reaction is quite positive. If we begin looking from verses twenty two says all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. But then they began to think about that for a little bit and they say, isn't this Joseph's son? Now, this is the last reference to Joseph in the Bible, chronologically, the last reference we have to him. Now Mark gives us a fuller account of this statement. And Mark six three. Is Not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not all his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him. So they hear what he says and they're excited about it, but then they start thinking. Wait a minute, we know this guy. We know his family, we know what he did when he was brought up here, and they started thinking about him and and and they think, well, no, this, this cannot be the guy that's going to fulfill all those scriptures. And Jesus then UH begins at verse twenty three, to get to the heart of what he's saying. He says you're gonna probably say the proverb physician, heal thyself,...

...which what it means in his context. Is What they're saying is, if you're gonna do healings like you've done in other places, do it here in your hometown. That's what they mean by that. When he says that proverb. Do the things you did, do it here as well. In First Corinthia's Paul says the Jews demand signs, and that's what they're doing here. But the one thing we know what God is. He doesn't have to give into our demands, does he? We can want science doesn't mean God has to give those signs. Now. Jesus could have done those works in Mark's, the count he says, a very strange thing he says, and he could do no mighty work there, except he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them and he marveled because of their unbelief. Now I don't know what that means. A few sick people. I don't know if that means. You know, I couldn't do anything with, you know, tuberculosis or paralysis or anything like that. But but you know, he could. He could heal covid or, you know, the common cold or something like that. Guy, I don't know what it is, but the phrase he could do no mighty work there sounds wait a minute, no, he's God, he can do what he wants. Why couldn't he do mighty works there? Well, Calvin has a good comment. He says not that it is in the power of men to bind the hands of God, but that he withholds the advantage of his works from those who are rendered unworthy of them by their infidelity. I think that's a very good comment on that particular phrase. And so Jesus Marvels in his human nature at the response that he is receiving here in his hometown. But one thing to note. Nobody, even Jesus greatest enemies, nobody denied the fact that Jesus indeed did miracles. Even the Pharisees and the scribes and his address. Even they admitted that Jesus did Miracles in Verse Twenty Four Editors. What's a I'm? A kind of proverb that has been said through the years in different forms and actually, for the first time in Luke we have the word Amen. Luke only uses the word six times, just much fewer than the other gospel writers, but it is used by Jesus to say I'm I'm saying something important here. Of course everything Jesus says is important, but this is something Jesus is saying. I want you to really hear what I'm saying here. And he says no profit is acceptable in his hometown. Our proverb goes something like familiarity breeds contempt, but it's the same proverb. When I've gone back to my hometown, Rochester, Minnesota, to preach, I know there are people in the audience. UH, now they're getting less and less now because I'm getting older, but I know there were people in the audience that think, wait a minute, I remembered this guy. He used to smart off to me in Sunday school class. I know that's hard for you to believe and you could never think I could do such a thing, but it's true and they would, they would. I'm sure they would think that and I even heard it from people. You know, I never thought you'd turn out too much. You know, you, uh, the way you started and all of those things, but this is very true to a lot of us. And then Jesus is going to say something in the next three verses that's going to really anger the church, the crowd, and he's going to tell two Bible stories that his listeners, as well as you, are going to be well acquainted with. And he's going to tell the story of Elijah and the widow that's found in first king's chapter seventeen. and Jesus does add something here that's not found in the Old Testament account. He says that the heavens were shut up for three and a half years. We're not told that in the Old Testament. Now James also repeats that. So people say, well, how can they know that? Uh, you know that that? Uh, it's not in the Bible. Well, Jesus was there, so I think he knew. So we can accept that. And he tells that story and again it relates how...

Elijah was there in the home of this widow of their path and the flower in the oil never ran out as long as he was there. And then he tells another story that relates to Elijah's successor, Elisha. He tells a story that we're probably very familiar with again that is found in second kings five of name and the Syrian Leopard. It comes to Elisha and you know the story always told to wash in the Jordan River and all of those things. So you might wonder, why are the crowd so angry that he tells those two stories? I mean, what, what's? What's so bad about that? I'll come back to that. Let me finish with vers. The crowd, as I said, gets angry, very mad, and I want you to notice they're not just a little angry. Okay, they're really upset to the point they want to kill him. That's how upset they are. Now I have had people in my ministry that have not been exactly enamored with my sermon, and there may be some here this morning, but nobody has ever wanted to kill me. That I know after I finished the sermon, that that's never happened to me before. So one thing I think I can say positively about our Lord's sermon. I don't think we can describe it as seeker friendly. Um. That that much I gather from from what he says here. And so in Verse Twenty Nine it says they brought him out to the brow of the hill so they could throw him off the cliff. Now this isn't the first time people have tried to kill Jesus. You might remember Herod and his attempt, and it won't be the last time either. And of course they will finally succeed with what with killing him. But Verse Thirty says passing through their midst, he went away. Now that's one of the most enigmatic versus in the New Testament. Really isn't what? You read that and you go, how does that work? You know, what did he do? Is it a miracle and he's got out this peer and reappear somewhere else, or or what it did? The hearts of the people all change and you're kind of like Luke, tell us more, but he doesn't Um. So we're not sure exactly, but he is going to leave Matt Nazareth at this time. And I love the provocative statement Fred Kradock makes here. He says Jesus doesn't go elsewhere because he's rejected. He's rejected because he went elsewhere, and I think that's very perceptive. And as far as we know, Jesus never returns to Nazareth again. John says he came onto his own but his own did not receive him. James Edwards says the N I v Subtitles this section Jesus rejected at Nazareth, but the text suggests that Jesus also rejected Nazareth. So let me make some applications this morning. One of the things I mentioned earlier and I want to come back to is as we look at the ministry in life of Christ, we see in several scriptures that he was regularly in attendance at the synagogue services. Now, the synagogue services are not found in the Old Testament. We don't we don't get him from there. They apparently started either towards the end of that period or in the intertestamental period when the temple was destroyed and people wanted a place to worship, and that's where the synagogues were born. But it was in obedience to God that his people would gather together on their Sabbath Day and the Lord was faithful in attendance at the synagogue has his custom was. Now you might say, well, yeah, he was the preacher, he had to be there, but I don't think that's the main reason. He's doing it in obedience. He is going as a pattern to us. That tell us that we need to gather together regularly on his day. Has was his custom. It's not one of...

...these like well, we've all mad people like this. Wow, I don't. I don't have to go to church to be a Christian. So you've all heard somebody say like this. The Christ was obedient to the laws that said you need to attend with God's people. Deuteronomy twelve, five, you shall seek the place the Lord, your God has chose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, the Psalmist says, and saw made four. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts. My soul longs, it faiths for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the Living God. Even the sparrow finds at home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young. At your altars, O Lord of hosts, by King and my God, blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing of your praise. See how I think of our Lord's words to disciples. I mentioned before the Lord's supper where he said with great and word. There is the actual word lust. With Great Lust, I have lusted to eat this password. He's coming to the end, he's coming to his death and he wants to be with God's people. He knows how important is. Our Lord wants to do that. Well, you say. Well, yeah, but I don't really care for our pastor's sermons. Hey, think about the sermons Jesus had to listen to him. I mean there was nobody on par with him right there was nobody could say, Oh, I could have done a lot better with that. Of course he could, but he was in attendance, he went. So let's be faithful to the House of the Lord on his day. But I want to go back, and our songs today are centering around this, if you didn't notice. But the question, what is it that made the people so angry? You just told a couple of Bible stories. That's all he did and you looked at it while you so mad. He didn't say anything. The scriptures didn't say and he said. The truth is that the fact that he said a prophet wouldn't be accepted board his own hometown. Maybe, but more to the point are the examples he chose to bring that day in the story involving Elijah, he's bringing out the point there were many widows in Israel during the days of Elijah, but Elijah wasn't sent to any of them. He was sent to a widow in Sidon, a gentile territory, in Zeropeth. He was said, to that area. That's not Israel, that's a gentile. And then he adds the story of Elisha when he says there were lots of lepers in the days of Elishah in Israel. But who gets cured? Not only Assyrian, not only a gentile, but an actual enemy of Israel. That's who was hell, James Edwards says, at the time of Elijah being sent to name and Naman was a Syrian general besieging Israel. So we need to recognize what the topic what this first sermon is talking what is it that angers the people? And the thing that angers them shouldn't surprise us because it's the same thing that's been angering people even in the church for years. When you bring it up and it's the doctrine of election, that's what's making the man. God could have sent Elijah to any widow, but God said no, you're going to this gentile. Out of all the widows that could have been Elijah could have went to, God elects a widow in Sidon, and that doesn't seem good to the these Israelites that day in the synagogue. God gives...

...sent any leper in the land of Israel to Elisha, but instead he sends an enemy, a gentile, and this is the one that is healed. And just as the people in Nazareth hated that doctrine, people still hate it today. And let me say that is a good clue to the fact that the doctrine is true. When the natural man hates something, it's a good sign to us that is true. The doctrine of election, because it's taught so many places clearly in the Bible, is hated. Why is it hated? Because it takes glory away from me and I want the glory. I want to say I chose God, I want to say I found God, and then somebody says God wasn't lost, he found you, and there's something about that that bothers me. In my free will, I want I want to I want to say that I have something to do with it, but people have always hated this idea and they've always rebelled against it. I read in the biography of Martin Lloyd Jones years ago that when he was preaching, he was he was sharing the pulpit at Westminster Chapel with G Campbell Morgan in the morning and then he preached at night. Mostly and and Morgan was an Armenian, and and h Lloyd Jones was was a calvinist, and it was sad that when people would go to the service at night they would kind of say under their breath and without mean, we're going to hear that calvinist tonight. They didn't want to hear Lloyd Jones. And in that sense we would much rather be able to say we had something to do with things, but then he chose us in such a way we can't even figure out why. Isn't that what it's all about? When you think, I mean when I was committed Armenian, you know what it was? That that changed my whole mind. I mean some of what was reading, I was doing us, for sure. But then I started thinking. I had a brother three years younger than me and we were as unlike each other as any two people probably could have been. He was always in jail or a children's home or a hospital or a jail or a prison or Fort Leavenworth. He was always somewhere, and I just scared to do anything wrong. I never did anything I was so afraid and I would always think we were born in the same household and all of this. Well, why, why did we turn out so different? And I couldn't come up with an answer. And and people say, well, you know, you were a lot smarter than your brother, who I was. I'm not going to deny that. I'm not gonna sound really humble here today. I was smarter than my brother, but he was no genius, so don't it's not saying a lot. But I'd say, well, why was I smarter? I had nothing to do with me. God created me the way I was. I I didn't just all of a sudden learn more something like like this. is where it was. Because said well, well, you were more tender hearted. Well I was. Well, why was I more tender hearted? Nothing to do with me. God made me that way, and so we say why? Why? ME, Calvin writes. But still we ought to hold that none are chosen in preference to others for their own excellence, but that it proceeds rather from the wonderful purpose of God, the height and depth of which, though the reason may be hidden from us, we are bound to acknowledge in the door. And you can hate that doctrine as much as the people of Nazareth hated it, but it's still true, because it gives all the glory to God. What am I able to Glorian? What can you glory in? What do you have? There's nothing, as Paul says, is the Corinthians. What do you have that you didn't receive? And if you received it, why are you boasting like like you didn't receive it, but God has done that.

And finally, let me look at the condition of those who came. Christ came to preach the Gospel too. I said, it could be either natural or spiritual, but let me deal with it spiritually. When it's this poor, and this relates to what I just said as well, the word poor there is the word that means reduced to beggary, as there gives it first definition reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms. Its second definition is destitute of wealth, influenced position or honor. It's the same word found in the first beatitude. Blessed are the poor in spirit. There's another word in Greek that means working poor, but this is not that word. We're not working poor, we are destitute beggars. We are like the beggar and in Luke sixteen that Jesus talks about, that was covered with sword and the desire to be a fed from the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, that the dog came and licked his swords. That's us. So I'm thirty four eighteen. The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed and Spirit Isaiah Sixty six. To all these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I look. He was humbled and trite and spirit and trembles at my word. Second, he preaches to the captives. We were all captive. The Greek word literally means a captive of war. It's those who are captive to any kind of sin, secontivity. Twenty six that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, being captured by him to do his will. Malcolm Muggeridge, who is the British journalist who came to Christ very late in life, he wrote all other freedoms, once won, soon turned into new servitude. Christ is the only liberator whose liberation lasts forever. Spiritually, we're blind, according to second Grintians, fore, for the God of this world has blinded our minds. And then it says set at liberty those that are oppressed. Earlier, earlier, it says give liberty to the captives. That word liberty, if you look it up in your lexicon, that this. This is a fine translation. But in the King James The other fifteen times this word is found, it's translated as forgiveness or remission. This is what Jesus comes to give, in whom we have redemption to his blood, the forgiveness of our trestpasses according to the riches of His grace. Because that's what we really need, folks, His forgiveness, Charles Wesley said, he breaks the power of canceled sin. He sets the prisoner free. We need the forgiveness of sins. So I want to close this morning by asking you the question who do you see yourselves as? Do you see yourselves as those who are conquered by to whom you had nothing to do with, and you see God's work totally in your salvation? And let me tell this story and then we're done. One Sunday the pastor of a church in London saw former burglar kneeling beside a judge of the court of England. And it happened to be the very judge who had sent him to jail, where he served seven years. After his release, the burglar had been converted and became a Christian worker. Yet as they knelt there, the judge and the former convict, neither one seemed to be aware of the other. After the service the judge was walking out with the pastor and he said to the Pastor, did you happen to notice who was kneeling beside me at the communion rail this morning? The pastor replied yes, but I didn't notice that you noticed. They walked together in silence for a little while and then the judge said what a miracle of grace. Pastor nodded in agreement.

Yes, what a marvelous miracle of grace. And the judge said, but to whom do you refer? The Pastor said, why, to the conversion of that convict, the judge said, but I was not referring to him, I was thinking to myself. Pastor said, you're thinking of yourself. I don't understand. The judge replied. It was natural for the burglar to receive God's grace. When he came out of jail, he had nothing but a history of crime behind him and when he saw Jesus as a savior, he knew there was salvation and hope and joy for him and he knew how much he needed that help. But look at me. I was taught from the earliest infancy to live as a gentleman, that my word was to be my bond, that I was to say my prayers, to go to church, take communion and so on. I went through Oxford, took my the Greece, was called to the bar and eventually became a judge. Pastor, it was God's grace that drew me. It was God's grace that opened my heart to receive it. I'm a greater miracle of His grace. I pray that's how you see yourself this morning. Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word. And indeed, we were those who were captive. And these we are, those that were poor and had nothing to offer, but in your marvelous grace and mercy, you came upon us. But we all have our own particular natural story of our life, but each of us that belonged to you and are confessing you this morning our triumph of your grace. You overcame US somehow, Lord, our strong will, for without you, God, we would still be in the paths of Sin, choosing on righteousness, choosing to walk away from you. But because of the great love wherewith you loved us, because of your great mercy, we are triumphs of your grace and we have nothing, nothing, Lord, nothing to claim but your grace and your love. And Lord, I there are those that are here this morning that have never come to you. I pray you would make it clear to them that they also are poor and need you, that they also have nothing to offer but God, that your grace may triumph over them as well. And we pray, Lord, that your will would be done in the lives of your people this morning. But we ask it in Jesus name Amen Man.

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