I read the portions of Scripture in the Reading Through the Bible plan today, Genesis 9 through 11 and Luke 4. I read it and I stand amazed and dumbfounded that people who had such a direct and mighty encounter with God as Noah and his sons did, yet no sense of God’s power and majesty, God’s blessing or promise seems to carry any weight or have any impact on the subsequent generations of their children. I have to wait until tomorrow’s reading before God can get a word in with one child of one descendant – Abram and call him to come out of his own country and enter a relationship of blessing with the Lord.
Then, I read Luke 4 today and am struck by the different responses to Jesus. The hometown response of Nazareth is only sad to us now because we think we know who Jesus is. Yet, most people I know give Jesus the hometown approach.
And, what was that? They watched him and they spoke well of his words, like one would marvel at how well a method actor conveys his lines. You would almost think he is the person he says he is if you didn’t know better. Jesus sounds so convincing but “isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
And what do you do with actors? You watch them but you don’t take them seriously. Daniel Day-Lewis plays a great Lincoln but you don’t ask him to run for president. It was nice to have the hometown boy read the Scripture. He’s been gone for a little while and we’ve heard Nazareth is better thought of since he went over to Capernaum and was doing some good things but they don’t know him like we do. And you can’t take him too seriously, can you?
They couldn’t maintain their way of looking at Jesus, their way of faith, without trying to do away with the real Jesus. The real Jesus has authority. The real Jesus heals the sick. The real Jesus casts out demons. The real Jesus is the Messiah.The real Jesus speaks so truly and in such a straightforward way to our hearts that we shall either follow wherever he says go or run him off the cliff. He is not an actor to be watched and admired from a distance or to be thanked for his great performance if ever we are close to him. No, the only suitable response to Jesus is repent and believe all that he says and follow him into the work of the Kingdom.