10/19/14 – A Gospel Often Rejected

Matthew 13:53-58 & 14:1-12 ESV

And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.

I. YOU CAN’T GO HOME (53-56)
A. Jesus returns to Nazareth and reveals that He is the Messiah.
B. His hometown friends and relatives reject the idea that Jesus is God’s Messiah.
C. Rejecting whomever God sent to Israel was their pattern throughout history. When Israel rejected, God would turn to the Gentiles.

A. To Nazareth, Jesus was a local carpenter’s son that made it.
B. Jesus does few miracles. 3 reasons: hard when fighting off a mob, never did miracles to prove who He was, miracles not to convince people but to concrete convictions they already had about Jesus.

A. Herod was Roman appointed king of Jews who was trying to figure out who is this Jesus?
B. Nazareth wondered who Jesus thought He was instead of wrestling with what they believed about Jesus.
C. Saving faith is believing Jesus is who He & His word proclaim & that He accomplished all that He and His Word proclaim. (Rom 10:9-10)
D. Debating the questions of the day is fine, but the only question that matters is what a person believes about Jesus. (1 Pet 3:16)

A. Herod decides Jesus is John the Baptist resurrected. Matthew gives us a flashback to explain the death of John.
B. John was murdered by Herod for telling him it was wrong for him to have married the woman his brother divorced.

1. When old sins and accusations pop up, remember the old you is dead and Jesus has made you a new creation. (Rom 6:5-11)
2. When others reject the Gospel because of their perception of you remind them the Gospel is not about you but Jesus.
3. When others reject the Gospel because they do not find your intellectual arguments compelling, win them with love because that is the way Jesus won His people.