Luke 4: 16-22 – The World Behind the Text

Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections: 

This week we are looking at Luke 4: 16-21.  In our passage today, we see Jesus preached. There are a couple of interesting things that we notice in this passage. First is we see that they respected Jesus as a religious leader at this point. Not just anyone would have had the opportunity to read from the scroll and then explain what the teaching said. Jesus was seen by a religious leader at this point already. If we remember earlier and Luke, we see that he had actually been to the temple and had conversations with religious leaders; the folks in Nazareth would have been familiar with Jesus’ calling if you will.

Notice how preaching looks different in that context than in many other context. Unlike here were a pulpit is a raised device, where everyone can see it, and also, unlike the philosopher’s method where they would stand amongst their disciples, in the Jewish context, Jesus sat down and all eyes turned to him for his interpretation. While I have not been to this synagogue, I have been to a synagogue in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus also had talked from. The place he sat down to speak from was called the seat of Moses, and that would have been the place where the religious leader spoke. The fact that Jesus Took The Scroll, read from it, interpreted it, and sat in Moses seat show the respect that he had from his people 

Tomorrow will look deeper at exactly what it is Jesus said.

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