What was the significance of Luke 4:25-30?
Prior to these verses we read about Jesus taking the book of Isaiah and reading a portion of chapter 61 in a synagogue in His home town. After He finishes reading, He gives the book back to the attendant and tells them that very day that passage was being fulfilled in their ears. What a remarkable statement.
After this the people thought how great was this teaching asking, wasn’t this the son of Joseph? They were mocking Him not believing someone like this could be teaching such great things with such authority and ignored the message completely. Because of this Jesus proceeds to remind them of a time that foreshadowed what was to come.
Following the passage of Isaiah, Jesus goes on to tell them prophecy relating specifically to them. He says that they would tell Him the proverb, “Physician, heal yourself!” And that which they heard Him do in Capernaum do in His home town.
We know that He did not perform miracles at home because they did not believe Him to be the Messiah. He later tells His disciples in Matthew 13 that “a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and household.” Jesus knew what they were thinking when He was teaching them in the synagogue. But, it’s what He says after predicting what they would do that causes a dramatic turn of events.
Jesus goes on to say in verses 25-29:
“I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.”
What just happened?
It would seem that we need a little history to know what it was that offended them to the point of wanting to throw Jesus off a cliff, quite a dramatic change of thought in such a short amount of time.
To fully understand the significance of these passages, let’s take a closer look at the widow in the land of Sidon (in current day Lebanon), and Naaman in Syria.
The obvious is that both these places were not in Israel and were in fact considered Israel’s enemy. Additionally, Elijah and Elisha performed miracles for a gentile. Bringing to remembrance these facts could explain the outrage, but the history will give us a much better understanding.
Sidon, the mother city of Tyre was a place where trade was abundant and many dwelt despite its battles. It has been an occupied city throughout its history, first the Assyrians – then the Babylonians, Greeks , Romans, and so on.
During the time of Elijah Ahab was king over Israel. Ahab married Jezebel through an alliance being she was a princess from Sidon – daughter of the King of Tyre. She successfully encouraged Ahab to abandon his worship of Yahweh all together and even persecuted the prophets of Israel. If it weren’t for Obadiah most of the prophets would have been killed.
The worship of Baal and Astarte/Asherah (male and female deities) became popular throughout Sidon during Omri’s reign (Ahab’s father). But, it was during Ahab’s reign it became prevalent. Archaeological evidence found at Ahab’s ivory palace shows that he filled his house with these false gods, inside and out.
Many times king Ahab and Elijah clashed over the false gods that Ahab worshiped. You may remember the incident where Elijah challenges the false gods of King Ahab’s table to consume an offering. He asked that 850 of the false prophets come and see what their gods could do. They of course failed. Elijah then proceeded to douse the offering with water to show the observers who the true God is. The offering was overwhelmingly burnt up, including the ground that surrounded it.
The king of Israel saw Elijah as a trouble maker and rejected his authority as a prophet, as did many of the people. It was Elijah who warned the king of the drought. After three and a half years Elijah asked for rain and only then did the drought cease.
It was during this time of drought that the prophet performed the miracle of replenishing the oil and flour for the trusting widow who fed him instead of her son. But, when her son dies she blames the prophet. Elijah then asked God to restore the life of the child if it be His will. Once the child was resurrected the widow proclaimed Elijah to truly be a man of the one God and that the word of the Lord from his mouth was truth.
We see through this story that a Gentile woman realized what the king and people of Israel did not. And because of her obedience and faith in the prophet of Israel she saw an incredible miracle that no one in Israel had received up to that point, resurrection of the dead.
Subsequently Ahab was killed in battle by an arrow as prophesied by Elijah. Scripture tells us that dogs (the Septuagint translates it pigs) came and licked his blood. Later Jezebel was eaten by dogs after being thrown out a window.
Syria was also considered an enemy of Israel during the time of Elisha. In it was the city of Damascus in the region of Aram. Syria had conquered Israel with the help of Naaman. Naaman, an Aramean, was a chief commander in the Syrian King’s army and thought of as a great and honorable man. However, he was a leper.
Naaman was told that a prophet from Israel could heal him, therefore he wrote a letter to the king of Israel asking him to cleanse him of his leprosy. Once the king read the letter he tore his clothes asking, “Am I God, to kill and make alive again?” The king thought the letter was written to provoke him into a quarrel since he was clearly not able to heal.
When Elisha got word of what the king had done, he wrote the king asking to send Naaman to him so that he will know there is indeed a prophet in Israel.
After Naaman finally agreed to obey Elisha and wash himself seven times in the Jordan river, he was healed. Naaman then realized and proclaimed that there was only one true God, the God of Israel.
Once Naaman realized who the true God was he had a request of Elisha, forgiveness. Elisha obliges his request and Naaman is forgiven. He tells Elisha that he will never offer sacrifices to any other god from then on.
Again, we see another Gentile who receives blessings because of their faith and obedience. Although they were reluctant at first, both finally obeyed because they had faith in the prophet’s words. In this case Elisha not only healed a Gentile but granted him forgiveness. Indeed a foreshadowing of what was to come.
This shows that it is through faith and obedience that God’s mercy is received, regardless of who it is. Not because it is necessarily deserved, but because He has the power to forgive and bless whom He chooses. As John the Baptist said, “from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.” This is contrary to what the Jews believed and did. And those listening to Jesus’ words would not want to remember as it would further validate His message.
There is no doubt that the people whom Jesus was speaking to in the synagogue recalled the bitter memory of them rejecting the prophets and where two Gentiles who by faith received miracles from God, the forgiveness of sin and resurrection. To tell those people that God would not turn to them to receive miracles because they refused to listen and believe was too much for them to hear.
The prophetic story of both Elijah and Elisha would later transpire into nearly all of Israel rejecting the Messiah and the words of the prophets who spoke of Him. As a result of their disobedience and lack of faith God would raise up children to Abraham from all nations. For it was too little of a thing for His Son to save Israel, rather He would save the world.
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The Bible Project: The new humanity
Nothing can replace reading the Bible, praying, and living our lives by the lessons we learn from both. There are resources available that should not act as replacements but that can often help us to understand what we learn in the Bible through simplification and analysis. One such resource is The Bible Project, a series of videos that discusses complex aspects of the Bible in layman’s terms.
Their latest video is almost too simple, but in a world that is growing increasingly antagonistic towards Christian teachings, it is a benefit that can help those new to the Bible or possibly confused by its lessons to understand arguably the most important: Why Jesus walked the earth in the first place. This is straightforward to many Christians, but others have a hard time comprehending the purpose of His life, death, and resurrection outside of the basic and repeated concept that we needed Him to die for our sins.
The resurrection represented a new beginning, one in which a man who was broken and killed because of the sins of others would be redeemed and thereby redeem us in the process. It also gives us the hope of our own new beginning, our rebirth into the faith and the transformation believers are promised. It’s a beautiful story that is too-often framed by non-believers as unfair. To the anti-Biblical mind, fairness is the only thing that matters, and the whole story seems to unfair to be believed. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts and minds of those who refuse to see the truth.
We are promised a gift of a transformed, eternal life as long as we believe. This is easier than some think, as the faith required to appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice is within all of our grasps.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
The far-left hates liberty. Isn’t it time to stop praising them as being liberal? Part II
If we want to defeat socialism and Conserve Liberty, we have to stop using the reality defying language of the Left.
Bernie Sanders recently gave a speech inverting reality to redefine socialism. It was replete with some modernized versions of the tired old tropes of the Communist Manifesto. But the key part included some absurd assertions on Liberty that would have made a younger version of George Orwell proud.
Apparently no one can be ‘free’ unless they have a claim on the time, labor and property of others in society. In the Orwellian mindset of Bernie Sanders and others of the national socialist Left, Liberty means that you should be ‘free’.. to enslave others. No word on whether the people forced to provide their time, labor and property to Bernie voters that are ‘free’.
It is a fact that every living being from bacteria to Brontosauri has had to exert effort in order to survive. However, the Leftist mindset sees an opportunity to control every aspect of everyone’s life in trying to alter this essential fact of life. For if they can assert that every individual has a collective obligation to society at large, they get to enforce that obligation, since they consider themselves to the moral superiors of everyone else. They know this because they are the moral superiors of everyone else.
In this inversion of Liberty from the Left, freedom means that you should be provided with free healthcare, free housing, free college, free food, free childcare and just about any free benefit they can conjure up. Never mind that there isn’t enough money to provide all of these ‘freedoms’ or that the people forced to provide them could hardly be considered to be ‘free’. We’re also to forget about the fact that these ancient ideas run contrary to human nature and that they have never worked in the 400 years that this ‘social’ experiment has been run.
Part I of this series proved that the Far-Left has become the enemy of Liberty while they use labels that falsely imply the polar opposite. Even though Leftists have become increasingly hostile to freedom and basic reality, they still falsely claim to be ‘Liberal’. Part II will present the case for a two-step approach in rhetorically cutting them off at the kneecaps in depriving them of this deception.
The Orwellian language of the enemies of Liberty on the Left.
Ideas are conveyed and considered through the shorthand of language. A positive word connotes a positive thought or feeling on a particular issue, while a negative word has the opposite effect. If Leftists are good at anything, it’s in word selection and exploitation. It’s the reason they put so much effort in trying to control free speech and dictating the terms of debate.
This is why it is imperative that we of the Pro-Liberty Right avoid being trapped into using the language of the Socialist-Left, debating the issues on their terms. This unnecessarily places us in an immediate disadvantage when it’s just a question of choosing the proper words and having the discipline to use them properly.
Eleutheros to Libertas.
There is a reason the Left loves to exploit the derivatives certain ancient words. The first has its origins in Greek: free (liberated), unbound (unshackled); (figuratively) free to realize one’s destiny in Christ.
The second is a derivative of the first, howbeit the etymology is somewhat murky. The second is the Roman personification of Liberty and freedom. The ancient term Libertas has a number of positive and similar sounding derivatives with the two-syllable ‘liber’ common to the words Liberation, Liberty and Liberal.
Each of these three derivatives convey the positive idea of being unbound and free from restraint. When used by the Far-Left this runs contrary to their true meaning because their socialist ideology has the opposite effect, the assertions of Bernie ‘we must be free to enslave others’ Sanders notwithstanding.
Leftists love thinking of themselves a ‘Liberators’ or the vaunted protectors of Liberty, but it is their incessant use of the term Liberal that needs to be corrected. Far too many people wrongly associate socialistic slavery with this contrary term. While many falsely apply some sort of post-modernism ideas to the term, it cannot be denied that Liberal connotes the same positive ideas of freedom as the words Liberty and Liberator. Many associate the real enslavement of society with being Liberal and by extension Liberty and Liberation to the point that the media contradictorily uses the term to refer to socialism.
Defeating the Socialist-Left by depriving them of their false labeling.
Defeating the Leftists on this subject is just a two-step process of taking back the word and having the discipline to use Leftist instead of Liberal. Then it’s just a question of rhetorically pounding Leftists as being hypocrites in trying to sell socialistic slavery as ‘Liberation’ or ‘Liberty’.
We have already made the point that true Liberals belong on the right side of the political spectrum here, here, and here. The fact is, the Conservative-Right side is represented in the Liberal party in Australia. Consider the through the looking-glass mindset of the Left characterizing a win of the Australian Liberal party entitled as ‘How Liberalism Loses’ taking note that they scrupulously avoid using the actual name of the Liberal party in Australia.
Why it is extremely important to use the term Leftist instead of Liberal.
It should be an easy fix to the situation, given that both words start with the same letter and have the same length. It’s just a matter of understanding the vast difference in the meaning of the two words and why we all need to have the discipline to just use Leftist in referring to those people.
Those using the term Liberal when referring to the Left are complicit in perpetrating their deception on who they are. Leftists don’t consider Liberal to be a pejorative. They smile when we use the odd phrases such as ‘Owning the Libs’ because that reinforces their supposed ‘Liberal’ street cred. The same holds true for any variation of terms that have a ‘Lib’ portion.
The Word Salad approach to labeling the Left.
While many understood the logic in this effort, there are still some on the Conservative-Right that still use a ‘Word Salad’ approach when referring to the Left. They will begin using Leftist and switch to Liberal at some point, followed by the term Progressive in another instance, then perhaps switching back to Leftist in another.
No one is really impressed by the undisciplined use of these terms, there really is no point in continuing the practice. One word is sufficient, the Far-Left has no qualms about using the term ‘Far-right’ in referring to the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. This refers back to one of the Left’s biggest lies: that the Nazis weren’t socialists. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to reinforce that lie at every opportunity where up is down and Left is Right – meaning a socialist workers’ party of the Left is somehow of the ‘Far-Right’.
It is time to fight back on this front instead of conceding the language of the Left, it is how they lie about who they are and what we are. It is how they deceive people who are unaware of their true nature.
The Socialist-Left revels in being ‘Liberators’, the defenders of Liberty and of course as being Liberal.
Those positive sounding attributes belong to the Conservative-Right, that why it is important to use the correct word.
Using Leftist instead of Liberal takes away one of the Left’s biggest deceptions, why wouldn’t anyone follow that advice?
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
There are still 10 Commandments even if most Christians only believe in 9
If you ask an average evangelical Christian if they believe in the 10 Commandments, most say yes. In fact, a majority of Americans believe nine of the ten Commandments are still important today. Only one commandment in a poll last year was accepted by less than half of Americans. Only 49% believe keeping the sabbath day holy still applies.
But the Bible is very explicit about the Commandments. From Genesis to Exodus, the sabbath is mentioned as being kept, including by post-resurrection Christian leaders like Peter and Paul. Nothing in the Bible indicates it has changed. In fact, it was the actions of men attempting to claim the Christian faith as their own and merging it with the pagan religions of their day that prompted a change to Sunday as the day of worship. It wasn’t by decree from a prophet of God. It was men trying to make things easier to rule their people who decided to change times and laws.
The Bible is unambiguous. In Exodus 20:
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Now is not the time to debate misinterpretations of Paul’s teachings, the ones most often pointed to when pastors and Christian scholars try to justify their acceptance of the anti-Biblical change in both scope and details surrounding the permanent law of God laid forth for all men and for all time in the 10 Commandments. I’ll leave a video below from 119 Ministries that goes into the details and offers a scriptural basis for keeping the sabbath. I do not believe in all of their conclusions, but it’s a great reference nonetheless.
For now, I’d prefer to appeal to logic. Before Jesus Christ died, after His resurrection, and any time He has appeared in the Bible, neither He nor anyone else talks about moving the sabbath. I’ve heard Bible scholars infer that it was changed to somehow represent His rising and the changes that happened in the world as a result, but that does not explain why the sabbath was kept by Christians throughout the early days of the church even after His death. Historians and the Bible all agree that those who were closest to Jesus continued to keep the sabbath.
It takes a tremendous amount of eisegesis to work that change into the Bible somehow. Moreover, it completely ignores historical records that show why the leaders in the 3rd century changed the day of worship to match with the pagan day of worship, Sunday, and to separate themselves from any attachment to the non-believing Hebrews.
The Bible tells us to keep the sabbath. At no point does it tell us to stop keeping the sabbath. Instead of listening to the traditions of men who were appeasing pagans, why don’t more Christians trust the Word of God?
Here’s the video:
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