Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
A man whose father was a lowly carpenter and who Himself was a carpenter, at age 30, began to speak publicly and, with lightning speed in an age long before the telegraph, telephone, and Internet, “news of him spread throughout the whole region”.
A man who was a lowly carpenter and the son of a lowly carpenter somehow was so knowledgeable in Scripture that “He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.”
Then He stood up in the synagogue, read a passage from the prophet Isaiah, and calmly informed those gathered there that He precisely was what Isaiah and others had prophesied. (See “The Old Testament foretold the Coming of Christ”)
To quote C. S. Lewis‘ (1898-1963) famous trilemma in Mere Christianity:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
And before Lewis, the Scottish minister and professor John Duncan (1796–1870) put it even more succinctly:
Christ either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or He was Divine. There is no getting out of this trilemma. It is inexorable.
You must make your choice: He has not left that open to us.
May the joy and peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!