The ARC of His Story | Part 3: Signs and Wonders
July 7, 2020
July 7, 2020
In the last blog post, we looked at the Announcement of Jesus, and today we’re continuing the ARC by looking at the Rejection of Jesus. We’re spelling the word ARC and understanding it as an acronym that helps us understand a very important repeating pattern in His life.
Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.
And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. (Luke 4:23-29, CSB)
Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers had this to say about the rejection of Jesus in His hometown, Nazareth.
“I learn, from this incident in our Lord’s life, that it is not the preacher’s business to seek to please his congregation.
If he labors for that end, he will in all probability not attain it; but if he should succeed in gaining it, what a miserable success it would be!
He must lose the favor of his Master if he should once aim at securing the favor of his fellow-men. We therefore ought to preach many truths which will irritate our hearers; we ought to declare to them the doctrines which are really for their present and eternal welfare, however distasteful they may be to their carnal reason and natural inclinations.
As the physician must give bitter draughts (medicines) to his patients if he would cure them of their diseases, so must the preacher, who is truly sent of God, proclaim unpalatable truths to his hearers, and he must preach the more often upon those very bitter truths because men are so unwilling to receive them.
That part of the gospel which they will readily embrace without any persuasion need not be preached so often, but that part which they will kick at and resist must be enforced again and again, if haply at last their judgment should be convinced of its truth, and their heart won for its reception.” (Charles Spurgeon, See full sermon on Lk 4:27 – The Rule of Grace)
Preachers have a responsibility. Listeners do too! Listeners have a special responsibility to the Lord and His Word. Are you listening? Are you more than hearing? Are you doing the Word of the Lord? Or are you demanding signs and wonders like these people did?
This was part of their DNA as people of Israel. They wanted to see miracles like Elijah and Elisha performed. It was their culture. They said, “Hey, we’ve heard about you and what you’ve been doing in Capernaum. Show us!” People demand signs and wonders when they think God’s Word is not enough.
In our next blog post, we’ll dive a little deeper into the Rejection of Jesus and why the people had such a harsh reaction to Jesus’ words.
Kevin is a Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.