In The Lord of The Rings, when Frodo, Sam, Pippen, and Mary return to the Shire, they come home changed. When they left, they were a ragtag bunch of mischievous friends, but now they’re heroes. However, the other hobbits of The Shire don’t know about their adventures. So, as these four friends arrive home in all their regalia, their old neighbors are left staring.
In Luke 4, at His own homecoming, something a bit like that happens to Jesus. He comes back to Nazareth and He’s changed. The Father endorsed Him from Heaven and the Spirit descended upon Him.
And now Jesus returns North to Galilee in the power of the Spirit to begin His ministry and His old neighbors don’t know what to do with Him. This is Jesus’ homecoming where He reveals to his childhood friends and neighbors, just who He is, and why He’s come.
Luke 4:16–21 | The Prophecy – The days of renewal are here in Jesus.
Jesus is teaching about the prophecies from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue.
Jesus proclaims that those prophecies have been fulfilled. He is the Servant of the Lord and He is bringing the days of renewal.
Luke 4:22–24 | The Prejudice – The days of humbling are here in Jesus
The people spoke well of Jesus and marveled at what he was saying, but they couldn’t get over who was saying it.
They ask him to perform a miracle like he’s done elsewhere. But he simply replies that no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. Instead of humbling their hearts, they begin to resist Jesus’ teaching even more.
Luke 4:25–30 | The Peril – The days of decision are here in Jesus
Jesus references the stories of Elijah and Elisha to make the point that Israel rejects the Lord’s prophets. When you reject God’s mercies and the renewal of all things, great peril will come before you.
Jesus’ warning makes the people livid, and they want to throw him off of a cliff. But Jesus slips away. No one can take his life from him.
Jesus has come, and with Him, are the days of renewal. But they will only be ours if we humbly receive Him.
Takeaway: What will you do with Jesus?
C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him:
I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”