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Showing posts with label Luke4:16-20. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luke4:16-20. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2019

"I'm Broken" - Things You Can't Say in Church (but should)


Introduction
I asked my Facebook friends to post some things you can’t say in church.  Some of their responses were funny.  Others were more pointed.  One person said, "You can't say I don't like BBQ in church."  Haha.  I would add as a methodist you can't say you don't like fried chicken.  That might get you excommunicated!  Another person said, "You can't say Christians annoy me."  Something to think about.  But I had a lot of other responses that went something like this, "You can't say, “I’m not OK.  I need help. I’m fighting depression. I’m lonely. I feel alone.  You can't say things like that in church.”  I can see why some people might think that.

Jesus said some things in church that almost got him thrown off a cliff!  What did he say?  Let’s see.

Luke 4:16-30
14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. 15 He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19     and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
22 Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
23 Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.
25 “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”
28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

The Hometown Boy
After being tempted in the wilderness while he was fasting for 40 days and forty nights, Jesus began his public ministry.  He wsa filled with the Holy Spirit and doing amazing things all throughout the Galilean region.  He taught regularly in their churches (They didn't call them churches; they called them synagogues, but they were the Jews churches.)  And everyone was amazed at his miracles, his teaching, and his wisdom.  His fame grew rapidly.  So then he goes down to his hometown church in Nazareth.  It was sort of like a homecoming and you can be sure everyone was proud to welcome back their famous hometown boy who had gone out and made a name for himself.  And they hand him a scroll with the word of Isaiah, and he used it to preach his message.  And the first part sounded so good.  He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

That sounds great and at first everyone seems pleased and proud of their hometown boy.  They’re amazed how he’s grown up so well.  But then he has to go on and mess things up.  What did he say?  In essence, Jesus said he couldn’t do any miracles in his hometown because they were too proud.  It seems they weren't really in the frame of mind to admit they had any problems or were broken in anyway.  They were filled with pride.  Jesus was their boy.  They weren't thinking about their shortcomings, only their virtues.  In their hearts, I imagine they're even taking some of the credit for his power and miracles; I mean, he grew up in their town going to their church.

Jesus was able to do miracles all throughout Galilee—even among foreigners and outcasts the good church people of Nazareth looked down on.  But he says he won’t be able to do any miracles for the church people in Nazareth.  I think it's because they were too proud.  Maybe, they even thought they were better than everyone else Jesus ministered to and didn't even realize their pride was the very thing that makes them broken.

It’s a common problem in many churches today.  You see, a lot of people think you can’t say “I’m broken” in church.  I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way, a lot of people going to church started thinking you have to pretend like you’ve got it all together.  (I’m not saying this is right or the way you should act, but a lot of people do).  People started worrying what other people in the pews might think about them.  Some people wanted others to think they were good people who had it all figured out.  Others felt like the worst thing in the world would be for others to find out their dark secrets.  Nobody wanted others to realize they struggled with sin, or loneliness, or depression, or financial problems.  People started covering up their doubts and struggles and less attractive personal flaws.  Instead, they would plaster on a big bright church smile to hide the brokenness underneath.

A lot of people think you can’t say “I’m broken” in church.  But really, we should.  We must say, “I’m broken.”  It’s essential.  It’s the only way we have any hope of Jesus fixing our brokenness. 

Jesus came to bring Good News to the poor,
                                                   to release captives
                                                   to make the blind see 
                                                   to set the oppressed free.

If your not poor or captive or blind or oppressed (or you could add any other form of brokeness), then Jesus didn't come to bring any Good News for you.  If you’re already “fine”, Jesus can’t do anything for ya.  If you ain’t broke, He can’t fix ya.  But the truth is:  none of us are “fine” and all of us are “broken”.  We just have to let go of our pride, take off our masks, and admit it to Jesus and each other. 

A Broken and Repentant Heart
King David is a famous “hero of the faith” in the Bible.  David is famous for defeating the giant, Goliath, with only a sling and a stone when David was only a boy.  David is known as “a man after God’s on heart” and the greatest king of Israel.  Jesus came from the line of David.  But David was not perfect.  In fact, one time he even got another man’s wife pregnant and then had the man killed to cover it up.  (Now how would you like to admit that one in church?)

But David realized he was broken and he earnestly repented and God forgave him.  Here’s what David prayed, a prayer so true God preserved it for thousands of years for us in His Holy Bible in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

Take Off Your Masks
God will not reject us if we let down our guard and admit we’re broken.  In fact, that’s exactly what He requires of us—to come to Him with a broken and repentant heart.  We must come to a place where we are more concerned with what God thinks and stop worrying what anyone else in thinks.

And here’s the amazing thing:  when we stop worrying so much about what people think and just learn to be authentic, the people who really matter will love us even more.  When we admit our brokenness and are just honest about who we are, our relationships are so much deeper and more meaningful. 

So don’t ever be afraid to say “I’m broken” in church.  Pleasant Grove is a place where we all realize and freely admit, “We’re all broken and Jesus is helping us put the pieces back together.”