PROBLEMS FACED BY NEW CONVERTS IN THE CHURCH TODAY
They are sometimes not fully accepted/ integrated/ discriminated against.
The older Christians may not serve as role models.
They may not be involved in activities/ not given responsibilities.
They may be tempted to backslide to previous lifestyles/ rejection by family/ friends.
Older Christians may expect them to change faster than they can.
Some experience problems of communication/ language barrier.
They may lack Guidance and counseling/ Christian literature to strengthen their faith.
In large churches, they get lost in the crowd/ not identified/ not recognized.
The financial demands of the church may be too much for them.
Lack of assistance/ concern when a new member is in need.
Some get frustrated when their expectations are not met.
They may be given duties they may not manage.
They may be rebuked embarrassed in public when suspected to be in the wrong.
JESUS BEGINS HIS WORK IN GALILEE AND IS REJECTED IN NAZARETH - LUKE 4:14 – 30
LUKE 4:14 – 30
Luke 4:14-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Jesus came to Nazareth where He had been brought up.
He went to the synagogue as He usually did on the Sabbath day.
He was given the book of Prophet Isaiah when He stood up to read.
He opened the book/ found the place that was written about Him/ read it to the people.
After reading, He closed the book, gave it to the attendant/ sat down.
Everybody in the synagogue looked at Him.
He told them that the scripture He had read was fulfilled in their hearing.
All people were happy with what He had spoken.
People wondered aloud saying,” Is this not Joseph’s son?”
Jesus told them that they would ask Him to do in His own country things He had done in Capernaum/ He told them that a Prophet is not accepted in his own country.
He told them that there were many widows in Israel during the time of Elijah but God sent the prophet to a widow in Zarephath/ God only healed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy during the time of Prophet Elisha.
They were filled with anger/ wanted to throw Him headlong/ down the cliff.
Jesus passed through their midst and went away.
REASONS WHY JESUS WAS REJECTED IN NAZARETH
He claimed that the prophesy of the Messiah by Isaiah was fulfilled in Him, the anointed one of God whom they had been longing for but the people of Nazareth expected a political Messiah.
Jesus did not perform the kind of miracles He had performed in Capernaum in Nazareth i.e. healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, casting out demons from those possessed and raising the dead.
The people expected Jesus to favour them over the other villages.
He annoyed his listeners when He told them that their fore fathers had rejected God’s prophets by persecuting and killing them during Elijah’s time.
The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus for telling them that the Good News was first offered to Jews but they had rejected it so it would be made available to the Gentiles.
They knew His background well/ that He was Joseph’s son and from an ordinary family though they had expected the Messiah to be a royalty.
Jesus compared the Jews unfavorably with the Gentiles when He said that Elijah and Elisha performed miracles among the Gentiles. So they felt insulted when He unfavorably compared them to them.
Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath law by healing on a Sabbath.
Jesus was accused of blasphemy since He claimed to be God’s son and forgave sins.
JESUS HEALS IN CAPERNAUM - Luke 4:31-44
He made Capernaum the centre for preaching the Good News in Galilee.
While in Capernaum he performed the following miracles:
(i) Healed a man with an evil spirit.
Jesus went to Caprnaum and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.
People were amazed at His teaching because His message had authority.
In the Synagogue, He met a man who had an unclean spirit.
The man with an unclean spirit cried to Jesus wondering what Jesus of Nazareth had to do with him/ whatever he had done to destroy him.
The demoniac testified that Jesus was the Holy One of God.
Jesus ordered the evil spirit in the man to be quiet and come out of him.
The demon threw the man down in front of those present and came out without hurting him.
Those who witnessed this were all amazed.
They exclaimed that with authority Jesus was able to command evil spirits and they obeyed Him.
The news about Him spread throughout the sorrounding area.
(ii) Healed Simon’s mother in law
Jesus went to Simon’s house. His mother-in-law was suffering from a fever and Jesus was asked to heal her.
Jesus commanded the fever to leave her and she was immediately healed.
In the evening, people suffering from various diseases and demon possession were brought to him. He healed and exorcised demons from them.
They were impressed by Jesus’ authority and power and wanted to keep him in the area.
Jesus made it clear that the Good News of God’s kingdom is meant for all people.
He continued preaching in the synagogue at Galilee.
Lessons Christians learn about Jesus from His healing in Capernaum.
Jesus is God’s son. He is the Messiah promised by Isaiah.
Jesus came to establish God’s kingdom and destroy Satan’s kingdom.
Jesus has power over evil spirits/demons.
Jesus has power to heal all sicknesses.
Jesus came to save human beings from the slavery of sin. Christians should turn to him for total healing.
Jesus is merciful.
Lessons Christians learn from Jesus’ healing in Capernaum
Christians should proclaim the Gospel to others.
Christians should continue with the healing mission of Jesus through providing medical services/ training medical personnel.
Christians should show mercy to others.
Christians should use God’s power to rebuke Satan.