Because the purpose of the Word becoming flesh is to put away sin, we want to talk about where sin comes from. Sin is not created by God but God indeed gave man free will . From several verses, we can see that Satan chose to be proud out of free will. This is where sin comes from. And being proud is also a big sin which is hard, if not impossible, for humans to tackle alone by oneself. Secondly, we take a look at the favorable year of the Lord, and also see what Jesus did. God is love, and whatever He does is based upon love. So, Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:2 and stopped at “And the day of vengeance of our God.” Thirdly, we talk about the verse regarding the fact that no prophet is welcome in his hometown. We ask why Jesus gave those two associated examples. Also, we can see that it is not time for Jesus to die.
1. Preface: The origin of sin
We see in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” We also see in Hebrews 9:26, “…but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Apparently, sin exists before man was created because “…the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. …”(Genesis 3:1) And in Revelation 12:9, it is clearly said, “…the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, …” We have already discussed from the word “light (H216)” in “1042 The first day in Genesis 1 and what ‘light’ in verse 3 means
– The original will of God (1)” that Satan was created before the material world nowadays. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”(James 1:17) Sin is definitely not good, and isn’t created by God. Someone may think that the statement is contradictory to these two verses. In Genesis 1:1, it says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And in Genesis 2:1-2, it says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Aren’t all created by God? Isn’t it an apparent contradiction?
We say that sin wasn’t created by God. Then where did it come from? God created free will, and Satan chose pride under the free will. Why do we say this? This can be seen in the following verses. In Ezekiel 28:14-17, it says, “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. …”Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you.” In Isaiah 14:12-14, it says, “”How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'” We can see that what talked about are spiritual things. Satan was created beautiful and was called the star of the morning, son of the dawn! But he apparently is like our old-self, which is centered by own-self. Yes, we see that Satan has free will just like us. Before the free will is contaminated by sin, it has the absolute choice just like what Adam had before his choice of disobedience; otherwise, it isn’t a free will. Satan chose to be against God. Sin then started!
To be proud is also a big sin which is hard, if not impossible, for anyone to tackle. Humans become proud easily even to the extent for him not to detect his being proud. We can see in the aspect of human, even God said in Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” But still “…he was righteous in his own eyes.”(Job 32:1) Isn’t it because of his being proud? A person who is righteous in the aspect of God cannot be so. Thus, it must be that God made this statement from human’s eyes. At the end, he knew that he was wrong by saying, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”(Job 42:5-6) He is a person who can repent. After this test, God didn’t make any test happen to him. If you look at the whole Book of Job, you know the original will of God was to bless him and used tribulations to purify him.
Let us take a look at another example. Wasn’t David counting people because of his pride? Because it is said clearly by Joab in 2 Samuel 24:3-4, “But Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel.” This is very different from what was described in chapter one of the Book of Numbers, where Moses was asked to count the number of people by God. After counting people, “God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.”(1 Chronicles 21:7) In the past, I thought that David’s heart was troubled immediately after he learned about the number of people because of the movement of the Holy Spirit, but now I see that the Bible says that he saw the worldly things about what happened to the Israelites. Therefore, in 2 Samuel 24:10, it says, “Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”
We don’t know what the preparation time of Joab was or how long David repented after counting people, but at least for the period of what said in 2 Samuel 24:8, “So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.” So, counting people took at least this much time, and during that period David was proud to the extent of him not detecting his pride. Be not surprised since we are prone to behave this way as said in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” We also see that David is a person who can repent after learning about his mistakes like what happened before in the event of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. In that event, David committed the sin of adultery and killed Uriah with the sword of the sons of Ammon. (Ref. 2 Samuel 11-12:14) Although God took away his sin and he didn’t die, but he had to pay the price for his mistakes. After the event of counting people, the Bible doesn’t tell that he went through other tests. Actually, the Bible says in 1 Kings 15:5 “because David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” Notice this is said in the Book of 1 King, which is far away from the event of Uriah. Therefore, the Bible makes sure that we are aware of this point. Whatever events which David had been penalized, the Bible doesn’t count them anymore by not even mentioning them. Therefore, we should be happy that we have tribulations in this life due to being proud! For things that have already been judged and paid the price for, it won’t mention them in the future.
Here, we see that sin of being proud is hard, if not impossible, for human to tackle alone by oneself. One may then ask where the sin of being proud comes from. Satan is the one with being proud. And when he seduced Eve, and “…she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”(Genesis 3:6) Adam got the command directly from God to not eat this particular fruit. But he didn’t obey God and listened to Eve. As a result, it is said in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” When we are born, we carry sin with us like those in genes. So, sin comes from the sinful Satan due to his being proud. Humans being proud comes from Satan and the wrong choice of Adam.
2. The favorable year of the Lord
It is said in Luke 4:16-22, “And 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. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “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, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And 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. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; …”
Among what Jesus did includes what was said in Matthew 11:4-5, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
Regarding “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,” we can see in John 3:34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” Talking about “to preach the gospel to the poor,” we all are poor in spirit, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23) We are absolutely born being poor in spirit since we never heard anyone being a Christian as a newborn. We are all contaminated by sin, how can we not be humble? Regarding “to proclaim release to the captives,” do we start from being a captive? Let us take a look at John 8:34-36 “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. …So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Isn’t it the captives getting freedom?
Talking about the “recovery of sight to the blind, it is said in Isaiah 42:18-20 “Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see. Who is blind but My servant, Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, Or so blind as the servant of the Lord? You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open, but none hears.” Did Jesus open eyes for many blind people, not only worldly but also spiritually? It is said in Luke 24:44-45, “Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” God is infinite, and we are finite. We can only see what God permits us to see. To illustrate this point, it is said in 2 Kings 6:17, “Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” As another example, Jesus said clearly to His apostles that He would die and be resurrected after three days, but they thought that it was impossible in the aspect of human. Although it was said clearly, they didn’t believe at that time. It is much easier for us since it happened and was recorded. We must really believe what the Bible says without any discounts.
Notice that it doesn’t say in the New Testament, “…And the day of vengeance of our God…”(Isaiah 61:2) God gave us a chance since God is love as said in 1 John 4:16, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” But we need to know also, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”(Psalms 89:14) For the righteousness of God, Jesus emptied Himself and became flesh. In Hebrews 9:26, it is said, “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Other than giving us a chance, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”(John 10:10)
3. No prophet is welcome in his hometown
In Luke 4:22-24 it says “And 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?” And 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.'” And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.”
In a different time, it is said in Matthew 13:53-58, “When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all 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 miracles there because of their unbelief.”
If we compare the verses nearby, we’ll know that here talks about a different event from that in Luke 4:22-24. Here, we see that they thought that they were familiar with Him and took offense at Him. Moreover, we can see how important faith is. In fact, even His brothers didn’t believe in Him at that time, as said in John 7:2-5, “Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him.”
Also, we can guess why no prophet is welcome in his hometown! Because brothers or sisters or country men are too familiar with that prophet, and in the aspect of human it hard to accept that person is different from the rest and a prophet. In faraway places, people will notice his work of prophecy.
Then we’ll take a look at the two examples in Luke 4:25-27, “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; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 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.” The former is mentioned in 1 King 17:8-16, and the latter in 2 King 5:1-14. These two examples were used to support the idea of ‘no prophet is welcome in his hometown.’ When we look back, the nation of Israelites was perished although Elijah and Elisha performed quite a lot of miracles. Therefore, we know that they weren’t accepted and people led not to the God. No wonder Elijah was sent out to a gentile, and Elisha only cleansed a gentile. Isn’t the same in the era of the New Testament, Jesus wasn’t accepted by Jews and was nailed in the cross. And Paul wasn’t accepted by Jews and the Lord told him to preach to gentiles as said in Acts 22:21 “And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”
The paragraph in Luke 4:28-30 talks about, “And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and 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. But passing through their midst, He went His way.” Jews at that time looked down at gentiles as described in John 4:9, “… (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)” No wonder that they couldn’t tolerate what Jesus said. Moreover, they took an action but without any success. Therefore, we can also see not yet the time for Him to die and human being couldn’t hurt Him as “Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; …””(John 19:11) This is what said in John 10:18, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. …” He died for us.
 As said in Genesis 1:27, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” God has an absolute authority. He apparently has free will. Thus, Adam and Eve have free will and finally made a decision of not obeying God’s command. The free will of humans is created by God and bestowed by Him.
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)
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