Are you meeting regularly with a discussion group? If you meet just once a week, you can find all of this week’s discussion questions in one place right here.
Have you heard someone quote Jesus, by saying “no prophet is welcome in his hometown” or something similar? Have you said it? Share a story.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. (Luke 4:22-30 ESV)
What about Jesus’ words do you think angered them? His words quoted from Isaiah, his associating them with himself, or his later commentary and refusal to perform a miracle?
How do people reject Jesus today, and for what reasons? How have you been like these people before?
Reread Luke 4:18-20. Jesus was reading from Isaiah, and he declared himself the fulfillment of these verses. How has he fulfilled these things in your life? How do you need him to? Pick someone in your life who fits into one of those “hard-to-love” categories. Go out of your way to show love to that person this week.