Luke 4:22-30: Rejecting Jesus
Why do people reject Jesus? Why do people see His claims, claims that we have seen and recognise to be true and wonderful and yet do not believe? Today we want to do an analysis of the unbelief of the Nazarenes when they heard Jesus preaching in the synagogue. A lot of people today will be able to identify with the Nazarene congregation. Jesus rocks up on a Sabbath, he stands up and tells everyone that He is the Messiah, He has done a bunch of miracles in all sorts of other places v14, if Jesus will just put up and do a few miracles and prove to me that He is who He says He is, I will believe.
The reasons for our unbelief are more sinister than that. We see in the gospels that Jesus performed many miracles, but that this did not guarantee that people would believe. It certainly left them without excuse that they were more accountable than Sodom and Gomorrah Matt. 11:23, but miracles do not guarantee faith. Our unbelief is not so innocent. It is not merely a case of I need a few more facts, or an ample demonstration, we believe what we want to believe. Faith is not merely accepting a few facts about Jesus you were not sure of, faith is accepting the truth about God, yourself as a sinner and worthy of judgement, your self-created moral law as an act of treason against His rule, your inability to provide salvation for yourself, to accept that most of what the world believes and does is wrong, and many other things. To accept the truth of God is not merely a case of intellectual assent but involves seeing your own sin and owning, humbling yourself and repenting of it, to be willing to change everything you ever thought was true, and for many this becomes too costly. Intellectual arguments, or claims of insufficient evidence are often a front for our irrational unbelief. We want to dig down into the petty reasons for our unbelief, the not so attractive motives that are more often the reasons people reject Christ.
In the passage before us we have two types of people, there are the Nazarenes who reject the truth, and then there are the OT examples Jesus brings out of the Widow of Sidon and Naaman who had faith. Our two points will be those who reject the truth and those who accept it.