I think we sometimes forget just how radically Jesus’ life changed after His baptism. He grew up in the small town of Nazareth. His early years were spent learning and growing. Eventually, He became an apprentice in the family trade, learning carpentry from Joseph. He built friendships. He cultivated faith.
He cared for others. He was a part of the community. In many ways, His was what most would describe as an “ordinary” life.
Then Jesus was baptized. The Father endorsed Him publicly. The Spirit descended with power. The next thing we know, Jesus is going toe-to-toe with Satan in the wilderness and prevails. When Jesus returns home to Galilee, so much has changed. He’s not just the kid who grew up down the street. He is more than a carpenter. He is the Son of God come in the power of the Spirit with the endorsement of the Father to announce that the kingdom of God is at hand. What is more, Jesus is demonstrating His authority through miraculous signs. Jesus’ friends and neighbors must have marveled at His transformation. I’m sure from their perspective, it seemed like He went from “ordinary” to “extraordinary” overnight.
In the passage we’re looking at this Sunday, we find Jesus’ friends and neighbors struggling to accept Him as He is now revealed to be. They couldn’t quite wrap their heads around His transformation. After all, they’d known Him for years. How could the kid who grew up down the street be the Son of God incarnate? Were they really prepared to recognize His authority? To follow Him? To humble themselves before Him? To bow down and worship Him?
When we finally see Jesus for who He is, we come face to face with the most important question of all: What will we do with Jesus? I pray that as we dig into Luke 4:14–30, we might learn to embrace Jesus in all His unexpected and expansive glory with humble hearts of worship. Jesus always turns out to be more than we expected. But then again, it is in Jesus that we also discover we are loved, more than we know.