5/26/15 A Special Message For Nazareth

Jesus arises early the next morning and quietly goes outside to pray.  When His apostles awaken, He comes in to join them and tells them, “We will travel to Nazareth today.  I must teach the people in the synagogue, and tomorrow is the Sabbath.”  They gather their belongings and set out.  Because the Sabbath begins tonight at sundown, they must be settled in for the night before then.  They walk quickly, arriving in Nazareth about an hour before sundown, and Jesus sends His apostles to find a place to shelter for the night.  An elderly couple who had been good friends of Jesus’ family when they lived in Nazareth agrees to put them up for a few nights, and the group accepts gratefully.  The next day, after a time of early morning prayer, they go to the synagogue for worship.  Jesus speaks with the Cantor, and is granted the honor of reading from the Scriptures and addressing the congregation.  He calls the people to order and stands to read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”  He rolls up the scroll, gives it back to the Cantor, and sits down in front of the people, who are looking at Him quizzically.  A few whispers carry across the synagogue, people commenting on this reading.  They are wondering why He has stopped reading there, because He should have read much more of the scroll.  Jesus looks at every face present, then speaks again:  “You have just heard the fulfillment of Holy Scripture.  I AM He of whom Isaiah was writing.”  Now the quizzical looks turn to shock, and in some cases, outrage, as the people realize that He is making Himself out to be the Messiah, the Son of God.

Matthew 13:54a, Mark 6:1-2a, Luke 4:16-21, Isaiah 61:1-2a

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