The Hidden Hatred of the Human Heart | Sermon on Luke 4:28-30 by Pastor Colin Smith

20 Dec 2012 44:26 8
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Hidden Hatred in the Human Heart
#3/3: Why Jesus Came
Luke 4:28-30

December 15th / 16th 2012
by Pastor Colin S. Smith

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. Luke 4:29

All of us have been deeply moved by the awful violence in a school in Connecticut last Friday. Our hearts go out to the parents of children, and the loved ones of staff whose lives were cut short on what began as a normal school day.

The familiar Christmas reading says that the "people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." On Friday, we felt the depth of this darkness.

We come to the threshold of Christmas, and find ourselves staring again into the mystery of evil. Why do men do these things? Why are we living in a world like this? What power has possessed the human mind and heart that a man can take the lives of 26 people on an advent Friday morning?

I planned this short series some weeks ago, and chose as our title for today: "Hidden Hatred in the Human Heart." I remember thinking, "Will this be appropriate for a weekend so near to Christmas?" It seems very appropriate for all of us today.

I chose the title because it sums up what we find at the end of Jesus' visit to Nazareth that has been our focus through these weeks of Advent. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but he was raised in Nazareth.

At the age of 30, Jesus left his home town. He was baptized in the river Jordan, and began his early ministry in Jerusalem and in Galilee. News about him and his miracles spread throughout the region.

All of this would have been of great interest in his home town of Nazareth, and about a year into Jesus' public ministry, he returned to this town where he'd been raised...

Good news for all people
"They marveled at the gracious words that were coming from His mouth." Luke 4:22

We've been following the story of what happened on that day. There must have been a special "buzz" in the synagogue on that Sabbath: "The eyes of all were fixed on Jesus," and what struck them about him could be summed up in one word—grace!

Jesus told the people of his hometown that he had come to "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:19). God has good news for all people: He is ready to cancel the debts we owe to him. He is able to free us from all that keeps us from him, and he is willing to restore the lost inheritance of a life we will share with him. God is ready to give us these priceless gifts at his own expense.

He is ready to bear in himself the cost of all that he offers to us. Nobody had heard anything quite like this before. The sermons they heard were a call to duty and to morality. They were used to hearing what God demands from us, but Jesus spoke of what God offers to us, and "they marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth."

Today, we will look at their response. I invite you to open your Bible at Luke 4. We take up the story at verse 28: "When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath" (Luke 4:28). The response to Jesus was that they were angry.

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