From that time, Jesus began preaching and proclaiming the good news of God, saying, “The time has come. Repent, for the kingdom of God is near, and believe the good news.” The news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, being praised by all.” (Mark 1:14b-15, Luke 4:14b-15, Matthew 4:17)

The Sick Son

So he returned to Cana of Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And in Capernaum, there was a certain royal officer whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus was coming out of Judaea into Galilee, he went to him and implored him to come down and cure his son; for his son was about to die. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you most certainly do not have faith.” (John 4:46-48)

The official replied, “Lord, come down before my little child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go, your son is alive.” The man had faith in the words Jesus spoke to him and departed. While he was going back home, his slaves met him, reporting that his boy lives. The official inquired of them the hour at which his son became better, so they said to him, “Yesterday, the fever left him at 1:00 p.m.” The father realized this was the same time Jesus had said to him, “Your son is alive,” and he and his whole household had faith. This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judaea into Galilee. (John 4:49-54)

Jesus Reads In The Synagogue

As he continued, he came into Nazareth, where he had been brought, and as he was accustomed to do, he entered the Synagogue on the day of the Sabbath and stood up to read. A scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, and having opened the scroll, he found the place where it was written, “A Spirit of the Lord is upon me; hence he has anointed me to announce good news to the destitute, he has sent me out to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, to give sight to the blind, to give liberty to the downtrodden, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [Isaiah 61:1-2] (Luke 4:16-19)

Having closed the scroll and returned it to the attendant, he sat. Everyone in the synagogue gazed at him, and he said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All who were there professed their admiration for Jesus and were amazed at the words of grace coming out of his mouth. However, they also questioned, “Is this man not Joseph’s son?” Jesus replied to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself;’ the lings we heard were happening in Capernaum, do them here as well, in your hometown.” (Luke 4:20-23)

Jesus continued, “Amen, I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. And I tell you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was sealed up for over three years and six months, as a great famine took place all over the land, and none of them was Elijah sent except to a widowed woman of Serepta in Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel during Elisha the prophet’s time, and none were cleansed except Naaman of Syrian.” (Luke 4:24-26)

Immediately all in the synagogue were filled with rage when they heard these things, and rising up, they drove him outside the city and led him to the edge of the mountain on which their city was built to throw him down, but he passed through their midst and went away. (Luke 4:28-30)

From there, he left Nazareth and went down to live in Capernaum, a city in Galilee, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said spoken by the prophet Isaiah, “Land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations, the people sitting in darkness saw a great light, and light dawned upon hose sitting in the region and shadow of death.” [Isaiah 9:1-2] (Matthew 4:14-16, Luke 4:31a)

Discussion Questions

  1. Jesus began His ministry by proclaiming the good news and calling people to repent because the kingdom of God is near. What do you think it means to repent and believe in the good news? How can we apply this message in our daily lives?
  2. When Jesus healed the royal officer’s son, He noted that people often needed signs and wonders to have faith. Why do you think Jesus emphasized faith in His words? How can we develop and strengthen our faith without always needing to see miraculous signs?
  3. In the synagogue, Jesus read from Isaiah and declared that the scripture was fulfilled in Him. How do you think the people felt hearing this declaration? What does it mean for us that Jesus is the fulfillment of these prophecies?
  4. Jesus mentioned that no prophet is accepted in his own country and gave examples from the time of Elijah and Elisha. Why do you think people often have difficulty accepting those they know well as being chosen by God? How can we be more open to recognizing God’s work through those around us?
  5. When the people of Nazareth reacted with anger and tried to throw Jesus off a cliff, He passed through the crowd and went away. What can we learn from Jesus’ response to rejection and hostility? How can we respond with grace and perseverance when we face opposition or rejection in our own lives?
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