Jesus, the Only Messiah

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

This morning we studied the parables that Jesus spoke on “The Kingdom of Heaven”. We were in Matthew 13. Let’s tonight start at

Matthew 13:53-54 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. 54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

There Are Five Gospels

Word Study There are five “Gospels” tied to our Bible. When we use the word “Gospel”, this is actually a translation of the Greek εὐαγγέλιον euangélion, {pronounced yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on} which means “good news” or “good tidings”. The bad news found in the Scripture is that we are all sinners, and in and of ourselves are headed toward everlasting damnation, because sinners do not go to Heaven (Romans 3:9-26; Revelation 21:8 & 27). Sin and sinners deserve only the wrath of God (Romans 1:18). That is the bad news. But the good news – the “Gospel” – is that God sent His Only Begotten Son to be our Savior and Lord. When we surrender our lives to Him, Who has surrendered His life for us, then God imputes His righteousness to us. We become covered by the Blood of His dear Son. Our sins are atoned for by what Christ did for us on Calvary. But this atonement is only received when we receive the Atoner – Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The “Gospel” is found all throughout the Bible. It is foretold in the Old Testament, and has come to pass in the New Testament. Though the “Gospel” is throughout the Bible (many call it the “Red Thread of Redemption”), the first four books of the New Testament are called “Gospels”. These are eye witness accounts of people who were with the Lord Jesus as He walked this earth.

As I said before, there are five Gospels. What is the fifth Gospel? Why, it is YOU, dear believer, if you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The interesting thing about the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – is that each Gospel gives a different perspective of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Matthew tells us that after Jesus spoke the Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus went to His own country and taught them in their synagogue” (Matthew 13:54). But this is just part of the story. The Gospel of Mark gives a little more information:

Mark 6:1-2 {Jesus} went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue …

Jesus goes to Nazareth – His home town, the town He grew up in – and goes to the “synagogue” or the local Church, the gathering of Jewish believers. Luke goes a little further, saying:

Luke 4:16 {Jesus} came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke testify that Jesus went to Nazareth to share the Gospel with His hometown. Luke further tells us that Jesus went to the family Church “as was His custom”. I have heard so many young people today make statements like,

I believe in Jesus, but NOT the Church”, or
“I’m saved and a follower of Christ, but I don’t do Church”

Beloved, you are NOT a follower of Christ if you don’t “do Church”. The Fifth Gospel is the believer, lovingly gathering with other believers. The Four Gospels are rarely read by the world, but all see the Church. If you want to find Jesus, you will find Him in Church, where several believers in Him are gathered (Matthew 18:20).

Word Study It was Jesus’ custom (ἔθω éthō, {pronounced eth’-o}) was. Jesus was in the habit of going to Church. Jesus’ disciples followed Him to Church. Why was this? Jesus could have avoided a lot of stress in His ministry had He avoided Church. Church is filled with spiritually and emotionally broken people. Church is filled with sinners. Had Jesus avoided Church (synagogue), His life would have been much more peaceable. And yet, it was Christ’s habit, His manner, His custom to go to Church and teach. Why? Because God never saves a person so they stand alone. When God saves us, He calls us into community. Among the Jews this community was called “synagogue”. Among we today this community is called “church”. Jesus came to build the Church on earth. Jesus came to teach His Church to stand together as light in this dark world. Jesus said:

Matthew 16:18 … upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Church is created by God to glorify the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. Israel has been waiting for the Messiah. Jesus is in His hometown Church on the Sabbath, as was His custom, teaching them that He is the Messiah.

The Gospels All Teach Jesus Is The Christ

We’ll be back to Matthew 13 and Mark 6 shortly. But Luke tells us something that is not reported in by either Matthew nor Mark. Luke tells us WHAT Jesus read and said in the Synagogue of Nazareth.

Luke 4:16-17 {Jesus} stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet {Isaiah}. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

The Leader of the Synagogue generally chose which Scripture was to be read on the Sabbath. Jesus had been in this Synagogue many times as a Child, and had probably read Scriptures many times. The Bible in Jesus’ day was in huge scrolls.

I am told that sixteen Scrolls made up the Hebrew Scripture (our Old Testament), called the TaNaKh.

The TaNaKh was composed of the TORAH (The Law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the NEVIIM (The Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 12 Prophets), and the KETUVIM (The Writings: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Megillot (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), Daniel, Ezra/Nehemiah, Chronicles). Jesus was handed the Isaiah scroll. Our Lord finds – and remember, this is not as easy as it is for us to do today – He finds Isaiah 61, a passage that prophesies the coming of the Messiah. Jesus reads:

Luke 4:18-20 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath 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, 19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

As Jesus reads Isaiah 61:1-2 He stops in the middle of verse 2, which reads:

Isaiah 61:2b-3 …. and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

The Jewish listeners in the Synagogue were very familiar with the Isaiah text. When Jesus stopped reading in the middle of verse 2, it would be like me saying, “Let’s say the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come …” If I stopped at that point, you would all be watching me, wondering why I stopped. Jesus stopped in the middle of the text – and the crowd looked at Him and waited. Then Jesus says something startling. He says:

Luke 4:21 … {Jesus} began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Jesus Christ is the long awaited Messiah. Jesus has fulfilled every part of this Isaiah 61 prophecy, up to Isaiah 61:2b.

Luke 4:18 (quoting Isaiah 61:1a) … 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor …

When the Messiah came, He would PREACH the good news, the Gospel to the POOR. In America, since the time of President Lyndon B. Johnson, we have tried to eliminate poverty. Poverty will NEVER be eliminated. Jesus said “the poor you will have with you ALWAYS” (Matthew 26:11). In America we have, for many years now, coddled our children. We have let them compete in events where everyone gets a trophy, whether they win or not. We have sent our children to colleges and universities that have taught them “social justice”, making them believe that we can somehow legislate a utopia in America by turning to socialism or communism. Beloved, it will never be. The poor you have with you ALWAYS. Some are born into poverty. Others make decisions that cause poverty. We are broken creatures. That’s the bad news. But here’s the GOOD NEWS.

The Messiah came to preach and attempt to reach THE POOR.

Those who have everything will rarely seek the Messiah. When money is your God, when you have been born with beauty, brains, or talent, when you are a success in life, very rarely do these people seek out the Master. Here’s something I hope you will all understand.

Life isn’t fair. Never has been, never will be.

People are born into many different places and states. It is the way it is. Period. You could give everyone a “guaranteed income” and we would still have poverty, because as humans we are broken. But here’s the good news: Jesus’ Gospel will reach the poor a whole lot faster than it will the rich, the beautiful, the brilliant. The Apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 1:26-28 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 that no flesh should glory in his presence.

The Bible does not say that ALL of the rich, the beautiful, the talented do not receive the Gospel. What it does say is that most of those saved are the broken, the poor, the have nots. Beloved, that is good news! Jesus Christ came for the least and the lesser. Jesus Christ did not come to save the righteous, but to bring sinners – yes, SINNERS to repentance (Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32). If you are broken, Jesus came to fix you – if you would but repent.

Luke 4:18b (quoting Isaiah 61:1b){The Spirit of the Lord} hath 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,

The Messiah came not for the emotionally stable,

but to HEAL the BROKENHEARTED.

The Messiah came not for the masters,

but to preach deliverance to the SLAVES.

The Messiah came not for those with vision,

but to give Heavenly vision to those who were spiritually blind.

The Messiah came to free the beaten up slave, bound in the unfairness that is life. He came to free all who believe in Him from the slave market of sin. He came to set us free from the darkness that throttles this world.

John 8:34, 36 Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. … If {Jesus Christ} the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Praise God for Jesus Christ! If you are hurting, you are in need, then Jesus came for you. If you are uncertain, if you are suffering, Jesus came for you. If you are beaten down by the unfairness and tediousness of life, Jesus came for you.

Luke 4:19 (quoting Isaiah 61:2a) … to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

The “acceptable year of the Lord” is a reference well understood by the Jews of Jesus’ day. This phrase is found no where else in the Bible. Ellicott’s Commentary notes:

The primary reference was to the year of Jubilee, when land that had been mortgaged returned to its owner, and debts were forgiven, and Israelite slaves released (Leviticus 25:9-10). ”

The “Year of Jubilee” was the fiftieth year where grace dominated the land. There was no sowing nor reaping that year, but every Israelite was to enjoy the bounty of the Promised Land. One day Jesus will come and establish His Kingdom on the earth, and we who believe in Him will be given great blessing and prosperity.

Unbelief Doubts Jesus While Demanding A “Sign”

Jesus told His hometown, “This very day this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears!” Jesus Christ is the One and only Messiah. He came to Nazareth so that His fellow towns people could be the first to receive Him as Messiah. Yet they rejected Jesus. The Gospels tell us:

Matthew 13:54-57 Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him.

Mark 6:2-3 … many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

They were offended in Him”. Jesus’ hometown rejected Him as Messiah. Luke now reports a sermon Jesus preached that caused Him a lot of trouble. In my lifetime I’ve sometimes preached sermons that made people angry. But what Jesus said next made the people of Nazareth want to kill Him. He said:

Luke 4:23 … Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

Jesus knew what was in the minds of His fellow countrymen. They were thinking, “Well, if you’re Messiah, give US a sign. Show US the works You did in Capernaum, and then we’ll believe.” How did Jesus respond? He said:

Luke 4:24-26 Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of {Elijah}, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 but unto none of them was {Elijah} sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Jesus recounts a Bible story found in 1 Kings 17 & 18. In those texts Elijah, one of the greatest of Israel’s prophets, told Evil King Ahab that all of Israel would be under a great drought. God sent Elijah to a hidden place called the brook Cherith, where God gave him both food and water. In time the water, even of this little brook, dried up. God then sent Elijah to the widow of Zarephath (Sarepta), about 8.5 miles south of Zidon (Sidon). Zarephath is not a part of Israel, but is a part of ancient Phoenicia, a place of the Gentiles. Why did God have Elijah go to Zarephath (Sarepta) and not to Israel. Because King Ahab sought to kill Elijah, believing if he killed the Prophet the rains would return. God saved the baby Jesus by having Joseph take Jesus to Egypt to avoid the evil King Herod (Matthew 2:13-23).

What was Jesus’ point in bringing this story out? Beloved, just sitting in Church doesn’t make you saved! God sent Elijah to Zarephath and not to Jerusalem because this Gentile widow was willing to believe in God. When Elijah got to her home the woman was at the end of her rope. We read:

1 Kings 17:10-12 … when {Elijah} came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Phoenicia was not suffering under a drought, so to provide water for Elijah was no problem. The bread, however, was a problem. The widow had just enough flour to make a tiny biscuit – something that could be cooked with two sticks. That’s not much. She was going to use the last of her flour, then last down with her son and die.

The poor you have with you always, Jesus said. God came to bless the broken but believing.

1 Kings 17:13-14 Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.

In America, just as in Nazareth, the people say “Show us a sign, THEN we’ll believe You, O Lord.” That is NOT faith. FAITH is what THIS WIDOW DID. Elijah said, “Feed me FIRST, and God will increase your flour and oil”. There was just enough flour for a woman and a child – OR just enough flour for Elijah. This widow now has an option. She can

Either make HERSELF and her SON a biscuit, and die, or
Make ELIJAH a biscuit, and trust in God.

Faith does not demand a sign from God, then move upon that sign. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Faith says,

I can’t see it, but God said it.
So I will believe God and do what He said.
For God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)

The widow did as God said, and she and her son were sustained throughout the entire famine. Faith believes and moves! Jesus is not done, though. He says:

Luke 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of {Elisha} the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

If Elijah was the greatest Prophet in old Israel, Elisha was the second greatest. Elisha was called to replace Elijah in 1 Kings 19:19-21. Elisha asked God for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and God granted that gift to him. One day Elisha was approached by Naaman, a great General who served the King of Syria (a Gentile nation). Naaman was afflicted by leprosy, a terrible skin disease. Naaman wanted to be healed, and Elisha told him:

2 Kings 5:10 … Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

At first Naaman refused to do it. He thought that he knew better than Elisha, better than God. But Naaman’s servant told him:

2 Kings 5:13 … My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

Naaman relented, and went to the Jordan. He “dipped himself seven times in Jordan, and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14). A Gentile was healed, whereas Jewish lepers were not. What was Jesus’s point?

Jesus Christ Came To Save Believers In Him

Jesus came to the Jews first, to His home town first, and offered Himself as Messiah. Nazareth would not believe in Him. Israel – at least, a large part of Israel – refused to believe in Him. Faith believes in Christ. Had the Jews – in this case, Nazareth – believed in Jesus as Messiah, they would have been blessed. But instead they demanded a sign, just as the Pharisees had done in Capernaum. Jesus told them, in effect,

God saved believing Gentiles,
But did not save unbelieving Jews!

How was this message received? Not well.

Luke 4:28-31 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way, 31 and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

They were “filled with wrath”, so much that they wanted to cast Jesus off a cliff. Why were they so angry? Because they they thought that, as “Jews” and as “Jesus’ hometown”, that they deserved a special status from God. There are many people today who think they have “special status” from God. Beloved, there is NO special status. You either receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and are saved, or reject Him and you are lost. There is no in between.

Mark 6:5-6 … {Jesus} could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. …

Beloved, have YOU received Jesus Christ as God’s Messiah? Have you believed that He and He alone is the Savior of the world? Do you follow Him as Lord and Savior? I pray that your answer to these questions is a hearty “YES”. There is no other means of being in a right standing with God. None.

May God the Holy Spirit and this precious Scripture lead you into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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