The Story of Jesus

Nazareth Rejects Him

"Jesus is home." "Jesus is back in Nazareth." The news spread quickly from one person to another.

The people of Nazareth had heard about Jesus' teachings and miracles in other cities. Now they wanted to hear for themselves what Joseph's son would say. Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read, and the leader brought him the book the prophet 

Isaiah had written long years before. Jesus read these words about the promised Savior:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To preach deliverance to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

After reading these words, Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the leader and sat down. The speaker in the synagogue always stood up to read God's words and sat down to explain their meaning.

Among those who listened were people who had known Jesus nearly all his life. Proud men they were, unwilling to learn new truths. They had heard of Jesus' miracles in Cana and Capernaum, but they did not believe he was the promised Savior. Jesus was only a poor man. They expected the Savior to be rich and powerful.

Everyone watched and waited for Jesus to speak. How surprised they were when they heard his words! They did not know he could speak so well. Little did they know that Jesus was the world's greatest teacher.

His words pleased them until he said, "Today Isaiah's words have come true. I am the one who is to preach the gospel to the poor and the captives, to heal and to help as Isaiah promised."

"How could this be true?" they asked each other. "Is not this Joseph's son?"

Jesus knew they would not believe him. No prophet is honored by his own people. Jesus said, "One time Elijah the prophet ran away from Israel to hide in the home of a poor widow in a heathen land. Because this poor widow cared for God's prophet, God took care of her. God healed Naaman, the heathen leper, when he obeyed Elisha's words. Yet many Israelites had leprosy and never were healed."

The proud men of Nazareth were angry. Was Jesus telling them that God cared for other people besides the Jews? They would not listen to such words! The leading men ran to Jesus, grabbed him, and pulled him outside the synagogue. An angry mob followed.

The mob led Jesus to the top of the high hill on which Nazareth was built. They planned to throw him over the edge upon the sharp rocks far below. Strangely enough Jesus walked quietly through the excited mob, and they did not see him go.

Jesus went to Capernaum, the city by the Sea of Galilee. Here he taught the people about God, and the people were glad to listen.


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