And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day…
I. HIS ARRIVAL AT NAZARETH. "He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up." A man of reflection and feeling piety will always be affected when he comes to the place where he was brought up.
1. What was Nazareth? It was a small town of the Zebu-lonites, in Galilee, seventy-two miles north of Jerusalem, and west of Mount Tamar. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
2. How came He to be brought up here?
3. How was He brought up there?
4. How came He to Nazareth, since He was there brought up? Because He had been absent from the place: He had been to the baptism of John. For a considerable time He visited other places, where He performed His first miracles; and having thus gained a well-deserved renown, this would serve to favour His introduction to His townsmen and His relations: and thus He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up.
II. HIS PRIVATE ENGAGEMENTS THERE BEFORE HE PREACHED — "And, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
1. The time was the Sabbath.
2. The place was the synagogue. Synagogues were scattered all over Judea, and were in every country where the Jews lived. They were places sacred to devotion and instruction. They were not expressly of Divine appointment, like the Temple, but they arose from the moral exigencies of the people; and were peculiarly serviceable in maintaining and perpetuating the knowledge of Moses and the prophets. They are supposed to have originated in the days of Ezra.
3. The action — "He stood up for to read." Bless God that you have the Scriptures in your own hand, and in your own language; and that you are allowed to read them, and that you are commanded to read them.
III. This brings us to HIS PREACHING. "And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias; and when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
1. This was the text.
2. But observe the attention of the audience — " And He closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down: and the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him." It is very desirable to see an audience attentive, as the mind follows the eye, and the eye affecteth the heart.
3. Then observe the sermon itself — "And He began to say, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."(1) First, He asserts His qualification for His mission — " The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me."(2) Then He asserts the design of His office — " He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor."
IV. WHAT WAS THE EFFECT OF THE SERMON? They were struck with admiration; but admiration seems to have been all that they felt — "And they wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" What reception does Jesus Christ meet with from us?
Parallel VersesKJV: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.