Opposition at Home and a New Headquarters

Nature of the Galilean ministry: Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14b-15, Luke 4:14b-15

Child at Capernaum healed by Jesus while at Cana: John 4:46-54

Ministry and rejection at Nazareth: Luke 4:16-31a

Move to Capernaum: Matthew 4:13-16


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One Reply to “Opposition at Home and a New Headquarters”

  1. We’ll cover a bit of ground this morning as we look at a four different passages as Jesus’ ministry is beginning to accelerate.

    Move to Capernaum: Matthew 4:13-16

    Following Jesus’ time in the wilderness, his temptation and example of resistance against Satan, we read that Jesus moved to Capernaum where his ministry begins. 

    Nature of the Galilean ministry: 

    • Matthew 4:17.  Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”
    • Mark 1:14b-15.  …proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
    • Luke 4:15.  He was teaching in the synagogues, and everyone praised him.

    Here is the part of the earthly life of Jesus that speaks to me this morning: Jesus worked as a preacher. He took time to walk and talk with people, to care for people.  He provided sermons to teach them, some more complex than others, but sermons the people could understand. He preached. He opened himself up for criticism by teaching in the synagogues and everywhere he went. When people start listening to one person, others become jealous, but Jesus didn’t stop at merely preaching the good news, he was the good news and people started connecting the dots.

    Child at Capernaum healed by Jesus while at Cana: John 4:46-54

    This passage begins, “Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine” and ends with “this was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.”  There must be something special about Cana! Just two days after preaching to the Samaritans, John records Jesus’ interaction with one of Herod’s officials. Though unnamed, it’s significant to note this official represented the government that ruthlessly killed and extorted to ensure its power and prestige. And even though the words we read gives the impression that Jesus was put off by the petition of the official, Jesus obviously knows this man’s heart is on the brink of change. He “begged him to come” and heal his son, he believed because he heard about Jesus. Once Jesus said, “Go, your son will live” the man departed, this was all he needed to hear, yet there was still some doubt in his mind. As he was returning home his servants told him about his son and “then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said” he would live. “Then the father realized,” whatever sliver of doubt he probably had was now erased. His hopes were realized.

    Honestly, I wish this would happen more often, but I must lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus would heal our friend with cancer or some incurable disease just by our begging him. Perhaps the story is recorded here to emphasize that Jesus was sent to earth for everyone, Samaritans, dictators, Jews, atheists, criminals, pacifists–everyone. John provides a multifaceted portrait of our Lord by offering examples that speak to all. But not everyone was convinced. Luke provides another point of view.

    Ministry and rejection at Nazareth: Luke 4:16-31a

    “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that come from his lips” (Luke 4:22), but these were just words, things people say are not always reflections of faith and belief. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked, revealing the doubt in their hearts. Jesus responds directly to their doubt. These are the ones that saw him as a boy, the ones that knew Jesus and watched him grow. This history was a stumbling block to them.  Jesus responds, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown” (4:24). I think he was sad and angry at the same time, his words cut to the bone and the people got the message. “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town…” Such was the response of those closest to Jesus. Quite the contrast to the passage above. An official from the ruthless court of Herod believes Jesus compared to those that watched him grow up. Opposite ends of the spectrum.


    I grew up with Christ in my family. My story to faith is like many of my generation. We heard it from childhood and believed implicitly. For me, the realization became personal before entered my teen years and I moved from one brought up in a Christian home to one who was truly a Christ follower. The current generation is brought up in a very different world, a world where skeptics are honored above the faithful, a world where we those who are seen as intelligent deny the very existence of God.

    We can’t expect others to simply believe and have faith. If we want to move others to Christ these days we must become wiser without becoming arrogant. Wisdom often comes one ounce at a time, one verse at a time. It’s provided here in the Bible if we would just pray and seek God with all our heart.  Sure, I prefer God just download all the wisdom of the ages into my brain in a flash, but this isn’t the way it works for me and it isn’t likely the way it will work for the masses. It takes some effort on our part, but isn’t that the best way to learn? If we participate in the process, we will be better stewards of the rewards that come as a result. Lord, I’m thankful you challenge us to seek and understand, especially that you’re patient in the process! Move me, Lord, from one who seeks knowledge to one who is wise. All for your glory and honor, not for my personal gain. One step at a time.

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