The Jesus Manifesto
Luke 4: 13-28
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Jesus rejected at Nazareth
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to me: “Physician, heal yourself!” And you will tell me, “Do here in your home town what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.”’
24 ‘Truly I tell you,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his home town. 25 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. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 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.’
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
I don’t live in the town I grew up in.
My parents have clout in that town. As a young person growing into an adult I wanted to be myself, not be known as “Your X’s Son.” I wanted to be known fully as a human. To have the narrative changed and work out who I am.
So I moved. I worked in places away from home, I enjoyed the freedom. The space to make decisions about how to manage myself and my money. To work out what being a human adult meant for me. I know what that felt like for me, for Jesus to lay it out so easily, rooted in Isiah, what being an adult was for him. Preaching good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, sight of the blind, free the oppressed, Proclaim the year of the lords favour.
My learning to grow up had little to do with this. I mean I know it, I have lived with this passage for years, church is easy when it is all about Sundays, but to actually put it into practice. Jesus surprises those around about, they had heard he was good, healing and doing miracle, but comparing his mission to Isiah that was a bit too far.
I don’t do that stuff so I guess my part in this story is as one of the religious guys listening to this. Trying to work out if I am ready to accept what Jesus says and join him in his quest or if I am ready to throw him off the cliff for challenging my comfortable position. I didn’t expect to be here, to be asking these questions.
To be ready to throw the Jesus off a cliff for disturbing my comfort.
The Jesus manifesto is about changing us, that will disturb and challenge. Are you ready to be disturbed?
Your spirit disturbs me
And I don’t like it
Transforming is not easy
To shout good news to the poor.
The poor, that sounds hard
Help us to be with those we normally exclude from our lives
To announce pardon to the prisoners
Prisoners, they are locked away from us for a reason.
How do you, how do I do this?
Help us to see the walls and barrier than imprison us from each other.
To recover sight to the blind