Day 4

Jesus’s Early Ministry

from the Luke reading plan

Luke 4:1-44, Deuteronomy 9:6-11, Psalm 91:1-16

BY Andrea Lucado

To begin His public ministry, Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and preaches in the synagogue. His homecoming message is so controversial, the townspeople—the people He had known since He was a child—“drove him out of town, and brought him to the edge of the hill… intending to hurl him over the cliff” (Luke 4:29).

The crowd is with Him for the first part of His message, when He quotes the prophet Isaiah, saying He had come to preach the good news and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (vv.18–19). But when He mentions the widow in Sidon whom the prophet Elijah helped, and Naaman, the Syrian whom Elisha healed, the crowd gets upset. These are stories of Gentiles who were shown favor above Israelites.

The crowd would have been familiar with these stories, and they would have known their meaning. This good news Jesus was preaching was for everyone, not just the Israelites but the Gentiles also—not a popular opinion among God’s chosen people, as we can see from their response.

Now, I’ve had some difficult homecomings. I’ve had disagreements with friends and family from time to time, but none of them has ever been so displeased with me that they attempted to hurl me off a cliff.

In this passage and elsewhere in Scripture, we see a common response to Jesus: People wanted His miracles, but not His message.

The crowd is amazed when He casts out a demon in Capernaum. They bring their sick to Him to be healed. They follow Him around, hoping to see Him perform other miracles. But when Jesus preaches the truth in the synagogue? They want to kill Him.

Jesus’s miracles were amazing, yes, but His message was convicting. People like to be amazed. They don’t like to feel convicted.

I know, in my own privilege, I often prefer the turns-water-into-wine Jesus over the seeks-justice-for-all Jesus. If Jesus is just a miracle worker, I can sit back and enjoy the show. But if Jesus is first and foremost a justice-seeker, I have to get in the ring and be about His work.

Jesus’s message in the synagogue proves His priority was not to amaze us with His power, but to redeem us—Jews and Gentiles alike—with His blood.

I can see myself in the Galilean crowd that tried to keep Jesus from leaving so they could witness more healings. I need the reminder Jesus turned and gave them: “It is necessary for me to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose” (v.43).

This is our purpose too. May we seek after Christ because we want to do as He did, not watch from the stands. May we remember that Jesus is our Redeemer, not a performer. And while we can stand in awe of His power to heal and cast out demons, may we be most amazed by His power to save.

Post Comments (69)

69 thoughts on "Jesus’s Early Ministry"

  1. Steph C says:

    “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Ps 91:14-16). Oh Father. You redeemed me. Saved me. You promise to protect me. Listen to me. Answer me. Be with me in trouble. Rescue me. Satisfy me. Because of who YOU are. Not because I earned it somehow! But all because in your love you reached me when I was hopeless and helpless. Thank you!!

  2. Jennifer McElhannon says:

    I’m a couple of days behind but I NEEDED this in my life today! In our sermon today in church, the lesson was based on some of Jesus’ healings and how some people have to accept the healing and not doubt Christ. I felt convicted because I have suffered from Crohn’s for almost a decade and felt like God was placing it on my heart that I need to stop doubting and believing in everything He has promised me.

    Similarly with this reading, we all expect these miracles. Always! Yet sometimes we forget His messages. I know that I have gotten downtrodden and in pain and doubted God’s healing powers and have demanded them with no reprieve from my actions. I get wrapped up in that “I’m not healed” from Crohn’s. I forget that there is more to Christ than His healing hand and miraculous works sometimes. I know I need to be focused more on the Word of the Lord than the Works of the Lord.

    This was a great reminder that I always need to stay humble. While Jesus performed amazing miracles in His short time on earth, His message of love and salvation for the entire world is what resonates with me. For His love endures forever.

  3. marsha says:

    what i love about this study so far is the beginning messages are all written by andrea lucado❤️. she has a way of getting to the soul of the gospel❤️. today’s is especially amazing❤️.

  4. Brandy McDonald says:

    I absolutely love She Reads Truth. I love starting out with a Bible Passage from OT and NT and a great thought provoking word to follow. So good. Thank you!!

  5. Rebecca Olson says:

    Wow! This speaks to my heart, even today people are so interested in ministers with gifts of the spirit to see and watch miracles more than hearing and receiving the message of the Kingdom of God! Lord help me to share your message to the lost and receive your Word with diligence

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