Episode 15: Jesus, the Hometown Hero?

Episode 15 September 26, 2020 00:10:40
Episode 15: Jesus, the Hometown Hero?
Thinking Christian
Episode 15: Jesus, the Hometown Hero?

Sep 26 2020 | 00:10:40

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Show Notes

Jesus' first message in Luke was to his hometown crowd, who wanted to make him their hometown hero. See his integrity in action as he holds on to his true identity and mission.

Based on material in my book Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality, available here.

Many who’ve read this book have had their lives lit up for Christ, so I encourage you to see what God does for you through it!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:08 Welcome to the thinking Christian podcast, your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on culture science, faith, and Christian confidence hosted by Tom Gilson. Speaker 1 00:00:22 Hi, I'm Tom Gilson. I grew up in a small town, Auburn, Michigan, between Bay, city, and Midland. For those of you who know the area, small town. Yeah, well, we had one traffic light until my big sister had an accident at the major. Okay. Major ish intersection, nearest our home. They put in a second traffic light and that's the way Auburn still is. One thing I know about small towns is that we love our hometown heroes. Not that we particularly had any in Auburn closest, maybe in recent years was a basketball player who went on to play a first string with Michigan state. But I just imagine if we did, you know, some major movie star, some politicians, some athletes hero, something like that. And I think if boy would we claim that person as our own, we would, we would have signs up for him or her. Speaker 1 00:01:18 We would, we would have buildings named after this person. We would have streets. We would call this person the Auburn star, whatever he or she was. And we would expect a person to treat Auburn as their home to give us that's special. That's special recognition. Yeah. I'm from Auburn. I'll claim Auburn and small towns are just that way. You just want to have your heroes. Well, Jesus came from a small town, much smaller actually, and measured in the hundreds. We had a couple thousand in Auburn, much bigger and, and it's really interesting to see what happens when he preaches his first sermon for his hometown crowd. You know, the first recorded one. Anyway, this is in the book, but in the book of Luke, it's fascinating. What goes on here? He's in a we're in verse, uh, chapter we're in chapter four, verse 16, where he says he comes to Nazareth where he had been brought up and as was his custom, it says he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he stood up to read. Speaker 1 00:02:30 They stood up to read. They sat down to teach in those days. And the scroll of the prophet, Isaiah was given to him and he unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written. The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim Liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at Liberty. Those who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Now, up until now, this is actually fairly ordinary, not an ordinary scripture. That was a very messianic scripture, but not so unusual to read it. I just read it and it hit and up. It was his custom to go to listen to God. But at this point, at this moment, Jesus is really inaugurating his ministry. And he says something very, very different, very unexpected, very out of the ordinary. He says he rolled up the scroll and he gave it back to the attendant. And he sat down to teach in the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. He said, I am the fulfillment of this great grant, hopeful liberation, messianic, prophecy. Speaker 1 00:03:53 There must've been something believable about that. They, they knew him. It's a small town where everybody knew everybody. There must have been something believable about that. If I were to say that to you, you you'd shut down the podcast. They said they didn't do that. They didn't do anything like that. They actually, uh, they spoke well with him. It says in verse 22 and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth, they, they, they didn't reject that message. They thought, okay, yeah, this is, this is probably, this is Jesus. I, in fact, they went on to say, is this not Joseph son? Hasn't he one of ours. This is, this is our hometown boy. We're going to claim him. Well, he's one of ours. And Jesus saw what was going on. He even predicted what the hometown crowd would do. He said, doubtless, you will quote to me this proverb physician heal yourself. What we have heard you did at Capernaum do here in your hometown as well. Bear, hometown boy, be our hometown boy. Let us claim you as our own. You are one of our own, right? Speaker 1 00:05:07 No, Jesus does. Next is an expression of his character that I find very, very, um, very fascinating. He was a man who knew who he was. He knew his mission all the way through. He knew who he was much earlier. Remember when, uh, his, uh, when Mary and Joseph went looking for him in Jerusalem, she said, your father and I have been searching for you. And he said, do you not know? I must be in my father's house. He knew Joseph wasn't his father. He knew God was his father. He knew who he was from a very early age. And he still knows who he is. And he knows his mission. Here's how, here's how we prove it. He wasn't a hometown boy. He wasn't going to let them claim him as our own boy, boy, did he not let him claim them as his own? Speaker 1 00:06:01 Look what he says next in truth. This is verse 25. In truth. I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months and a great famine came over all the land and Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zerephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha. And none of them was cleansed, cleansed, but only naming the Syrian. He's saying there's lots of people in Israel, but God cares for others. God cares for Gentiles. These weren't just outsiders. These were Gentile outsiders. These, this is huge food in Israel. Jews have a special place in God's eyes and no one else did Jesus. Didn't accept that. He wasn't just saying, I'm not your hometown boy. Speaker 1 00:07:01 He was saying, I'm not your Jewish boy. I'm not going. I'm not here. Just for the Jews. I'm here for the world. He knew his identity, which was to seek and say it, the lost of the, that was his, he knew his mission rather, which was to seek and save the lost of the world. God sent his, his only son that whoever he loved the world so that whoever believes in him would not perish. He knew his identity, which was not just to be a Nazareth boy, not just to be a Jew, but to be a savior of the world. And he, in his integrity, he claimed he stayed firm. And look at the pressure. These are people he he'd grown up with these people who loved them. These were people who, who would Pat them on the head while he was walking by as a five-year-old. These are people who were friends of his parents, his earthly parents, and they were claiming him. They wanted him to be their own just as my town of Auburn would have. And when he went to the root of saying, God loves the Gentiles, the pressure pointed the pressure amount. Speaker 1 00:08:17 They weren't looking at how it mounted. When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath and they Rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the Hill on which their town was built so that they could throw him over the cliff, but passing through their midst, he went on his way. It wasn't his time to die. Jesus stood his ground, but, but not so much as ground. Jesus just remained who he was. He remained who he was. He knew who he was. And he stuck with who he was. He knew his mission and he stuck with his mission even when he was about to get killed for it. Fast forward to when he was killed for it. He still knew who he was and he still stayed on mission. This is the kind of character that I speak about in my book, too. Speaker 1 00:09:12 Good to be false. How jesus' incomparable character reveals his reality. This is the kind of character that inspires me, not just to admire, not just to respect, but to worship him. You have to read the rest of the book to see how much more character, how much more incredible consistency and uniqueness and goodness he displays as only God could do. And even though the skeptics say he's just a legend, his character shows that he is different from all of us, including legendary people that we might make up. That was the fun of writing. This book was just seeing how much, how much we can love and worship and admire and have confidence in Jesus character. I hope you'll pick it up. You can get it at Barnes and noble online. You can get it even [email protected] online, too. Good to be false. How jesus' incomparable character reveals his reality. This is Tom Gilson for the thinking Christian podcast. I just want to thank you for joining me. I hope you'll be with me now. Speaker 0 00:10:23 The thinking Christian podcast is copyright by Thomas Gillson for more information, visit the thinking Christian [email protected].

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