Hands Up or Hands Out?

After withstanding His temptation by the devil in the wilderness, Jesus begins His ministry.  He began to preach and teach throughout Galilee.  He performed miracles and His fame began to spread rapidly.  He went to Nazareth, His hometown and Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath.  Luke records that this was His custom.  In other words, Jesus was a regular worshiper of God the Father.  Upon entering the synagogue, He began to read from the book of Isaiah.  He read from Isaiah 61:1-2.  This is what He read:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

​ – Isaiah 61:1-2a (NIV) 
He then tells the people that this Scripture was being fulfilled right before their very eyes.  Jesus is saying that He is the One about whom Isaiah prophesied.  One would think that the people would be so excited!  The Messiah had come and He was from their town!  It’s kind of like when a town posts the names of athletes or celebrities that came from that town.  Only the people of Nazareth weren’t quite thrilled.  They wanted to know where the miracles were.  Why wasn’t He healing them and performing miracles like He had in Capernaum?!?  Jesus knew their hearts and He knew what they were thinking.  They were waiting for a show, not looking for the Savior.
How many times do we go to Jesus expecting what He can give us?  We are less about surrender and submission and more about wanting the miracles and healing in our lives.  We want Him to save us, but we don’t want to surrender to Him.  We can’t have it both ways.  We must submit and surrender to Him as Lord each day.  If He never did another thing for us, we must still surrender.  After all, He did the One thing for us that no one else could have done.  He died for our sins.  He took our punishment upon Himself.  He suffered physically so we wouldn’t have to suffer for all eternity.
So as you go to Jesus today, don’t come with your hands out looking for what He can give you.  Go to Him with your hands up in surrender, offering Him all that you are.

Luke 4:14-30 (NIV)

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 favor.”

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 hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 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. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.


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