December 14, 2009

Truth That Sets You Free

Luke 4:14-30

The people … were furious when they heard [Jesus]… But he … went on his way.
Luke 4:28-30


The news of Jesus’ ministry had spread like wildfire, and everyone wanted to hear him. People hung on his every word, even when he read from the Old Testament scrolls. Isaiah’s vision was of the Lord sending someone who would make things right in a crooked world. Help was on the way with Jesus—until he started telling the truth about the people who wanted a celebrity instead of a Savior.

What happened?

The people were not interested in the truth of Jesus. They wanted new insights, but not new hearts. Jesus reminded the people that they ultimately needed a Savior, not a therapist. “Truly I tell you …” was a warning that the truth that could set them free might, if not received in faith, only make them angry.

Jesus opened the door of salvation beyond the cultural boundaries of Israel by mentioning Naaman, the Syrian leper who was healed by Elisha (2 Kings 5). According to their reading of the Old Testament, Naaman was considered outside the realm of God’s grace.

Undeterred by their violence and anger, Jesus walked away untouched. How did he do it? Luke doesn’t tell us. We only know that Jesus finds ways to keep telling us the truth of God’s mercy and grace even when we do not like the answer. Thank the Lord.

Dear Jesus, forgive me for wanting a celebrity Savior, and keep telling me the truth that sets me free from sin, shame, and death. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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