Title: Bring Nothing
Today: Bring nothing to get everything

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

Read in Hebrew, translated into Aramaic, the teacher would sit down and expound the text. The listeners would be standing. (I like this biblical approach) But then, his sermon is only 1 sentence long. What does this mean? His life is the sermon. He is the sermon.

Good news to poor – God is not waiting for to buy your way into his kingdom. No price for you, it’s been covered. He’s preaching good news to people who realize they are outside the door of religious elite, they can’t afford the cover charge.

Liberty to captives – enslaved, addicted, can’t escape the spiritual slavery of sin. He came to tell you a liberty story greater than the escape from the British, greater than the abolition of slavery – you are freed from the slavery that leads to greed, murder, self-righteousness,

Blind seeing – when you really encounter God you don’t just get new information, you get an experience and a sense of the very reality of God. Your eyes are opened spiritually.

Liberty not only to captives, but also the oppressed – that’s us, the oppressed that think life is all right, but we are caught up in an endless cycle of being crushed by a government. (Every political party agrees with this right? Taxation is theft? We don’t really own anything?)

Lord’s favor is here now!

They liked this part of the sermon

23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and 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 the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And 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. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

The gospel is for only the spiritually poor, the gospel is for especially for the actually poor, the gospel comes through only those who are willing to be both.

Why did Jesus choose widown of Zarephath [1 Kings 17:7-16] and Naaman [2 Kings 5]. One is rich, one is poor.

Some imply that you have to be literally poor to be a true Christian, not so. Naaman was very wealthy and powerful.

The widow and Naaman have a vital similary; they are both is spiritually poor. They are spiritual outcasts, moral outcasts.

(Poor) Widow of Zarepath – gentile, idol worshipper, outsider
(Rich) Naaman – enemy, gentile, murderer, idol worshipper, puts people into slavery.
Both are spiritual outcasts.

The only people Jesus come to are those who understand themselves to be spiritually and morally outcasts. People who know they have nothing of value before God. People who have a hunger and thirst for God.

There were plenty of widows in Israel, God sent ONLY to Zarepath and Naaman. Why? They were the ultimate outcasts to Israel, religious outsiders. From an Israelites perspective, these two people would have been beyond salvation. God reached out to the unreachable.

[To Luke 15 – Prodigal Sons]
There’s two ways to try and control God, two ways to try and escape God’s authority, two ways to try and be your own master, two ways to get God.
Younger brother – “I wish you were dead so I could just do what I want.”
Older brother – “I have never disobeyed you. I’ve always done the right thing.”
– at the end the elder brother is furious when the father doesn’t act the way the brother wants.

1. Rebellion – I’m going to decide how I live.
2. Rebellion through obedience. If I obey, if I never miss worship, if I do all the God-things – then I got God. He owes me! The way you can tell is when he does anything in your life that shows he doesn’t owe you anything, your anger boils.

Jealousy? Anger? These folks hate the very mention of outcasts, the poor. Or someone comes in your midst who clearly isn’t living right, and feel the need to correct them on the spot. You think you are better.

Underneath it all is the same sentiment: I don’t want God to have his claiming hands on my life.

Spiritually poor is seeing what is underneath. I need absolute mercy. God you owe me nothing. God please give me the gift of what your son did.

All you need is need. All you need is nothing.

Read the Bible – over and over. The powerful, the people of position, they are often sidestepped and good news is proclaimed to the outcasts. The doctrine of grace is that you’re only saved by losing your power — by a savior who gave up power on the cross.

A note about the Jesus quote: He chose but stops mid sentence.
Isaiah 61:1-2 – Quoted from servant of the Lord passage
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;

Why did Jesus stop? He’s not bringing that vengeance! Not at this coming. He did not come the first time with a sword in my hand, but with nails in my hands. He came to save the world, came to save you, by losing, by sacrificing. Not to conquer through power, but through pain and death on the cross. – the gospel.

Today the offer is here from Jesus: You’ll be so filled with my love you can give up your life and give and serve because you’ll be filled to the overflowing with the love of Jesus.

Who can understand this? Outcasts of course, they’ve already been pushed out. Life has already taught them they are powerless.

Look at the history of the world! Minorities understand and embrace the gospel before the majority. Women before men. Poor before rich. You know what the world says, “It’s a crutch, see. It’s for the weak, see.” This is God’s glorious plan.