Though Jesus offers Himself to all of us, He will not force Himself on any of us. This truth still remains today, but is clearly demonstrated in Luke’s account of Jesus’ public ministry. Nazareth, His own hometown, had perhaps the toughest time accepting Him once He taught something they did not want to hear. They switched from commending Him to trying to kill Him. Jesus did not force Himself on them, but simply left to preach and teach and do miracles amongst those who would accept Him. And mighty miracles of healing and casting out of demons is exactly what He did! Those who accepted Him could not get enough, while those who had rejected Him refused even to acknowledge what others could so plainly see.
Luke 4: 14-44
Jesus’ Public Ministry
14And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25“But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, He went His way.
31And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. 33In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34“Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. 36And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.
Many Are Healed
38Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.
40While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 41Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
42When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
44So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Let us make sure we are welcoming our Lord into our lives. Let us invite Him in and acknowledge Him. The teaching and the miracles will follow. He will not force Himself on us. Sometimes we need to be willing to hear and accept truth we don’t want to hear, messages which challenge us to change to be less like the world and more like Him. If we reject Him when He convicts us of sin, He will not force Himself on us.
Let us embrace the miracles He performs for healing and casting out demons. He has this power still today. Come to Him, asking humbly and thankfully for His help. He will hear the faithful who seek Him. He will not turn you away because He wants “alone time” or is “too busy”. He is always available to us, filled with love and compassion.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.