Sunday School Lesson for January 7, 2001

January 7, 2001
Jesus in Nazareth
Luke 4:14-30

KEY VERSE: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. -- Luke 4:18,19

Imagine the scene in the synagogue! Jesus has read the beautiful prophecy of Isaiah from the scriptures. Then, putting the book down, he looked into the eyes of his hearers and said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." What a moment! What would have been your reaction had you been there?

Surely you and I would have been skeptical like the others. But would we have reacted with anger as his hearers did that day? Would we have wanted to kill Jesus as they did? Would we have considered his words "gracious" until his teaching turned into a stinging rebuke against our disbelief?

As you ponder these questions, consider how you respond to his teaching today as He teaches you through the Scriptures? When you read the gospels, do you admit that he is right when he nails you for your prejudices, your mistaken priorities, or your resentment toward those who have hurt you?

It is not easy to handle rebuke. But this is one of the purposes of the Scriptures, to rebuke us for our ungodly behavior and to call us to repentance. If we would be genuine followers of Jesus, we must be willing to bear the cross of hurt or rejection that is sometimes thrust upon us by others.

Instead of responding to Jesus with rage or resistance, we must learn to swallow our pride and say, "Yes, Lord, you are right; my attitude stinks. My disobedience is shameful. Forgive me, cleanse me, and allow me to walk humbly with you rather than run with the crowd that sneers at you and ignores you."

We have a choice, thank God.