(2020. 05. 17 Sunday) Gospel Project for Youth - Jesus Reveals his Mission

1. Why was the spirit on Jesus and what was he sent to do?

Jesus quoted the book of Isaiah 61:1-2 and 58:6 to claim that he was the anointed one of God as the Messiah and the Suffering Servant. If you remember from our series on Isaiah, the Messiah is portrayed as a liberating King (Isaiah 7, 9, and 11) and the Suffering Servant is portrayed as one dying for the sins of others and being resurrected by God (IsaIan 52-53).

2. Why were the people of Nazareth angry?

Scholars explain that the Nazarites were angry because Jesus talked about the Gentiles receiving the blessing of God while the Israelites suffered. Not only were the Israelites generally racist against Gentiles, but they were very prideful of being the chosen people of God. They could not accept the fact that God would choose to be more gracious to a Gentile people than to themselves.

We see this as a source of controversy later on in the church when Peter was criticized for eating with Gentiles, which Jews were not allowed to do. Many Christians were surprised that the Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit as well. There even was a group called the Judaizers, which eventually rose up in the early church teaching Gentiles to submit to the Jewish customs in order to be saved.

We must remember that God‘s plan was for all the nations to come to him from the beginning. Even to Abraham, God says that he will be used to be a blessing to all the nations. Through Abraham the messiah was born, who became the light and salvation for all the world.

3. How can we be like the widow in Zarephath or even Naaman, and not like the people of Nazareth

Just like Pastor Park preached, we should avoid the Nazareth Syndrome of having a closed and narrow heart that makes us unable to accept the word of God. The heart of the Israelites during the time of Elijah and Elisha were so closed that they killed almost all the prophets who spoke the truth.

How can we be Christians who are brave enough to admit our sins and accept the truth of our sinfulness and failures? Just like Pastor Park said, we must desperately pray and the widow and Naaman desperately sought salvation from their troubles.