Ms 39, 1889

Ms 39, 1889

Christ at Nazareth


Circa September 18, 1889

Previously unpublished.

[Parts of this manuscript were used in DA 237, 240.] 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 1

The first sermon in the synagogue given by Christ was in His own native town, Nazareth, where He had passed His childhood and youth, in the synagogue where He had worshiped in the presence of His brethren in the manner and form of the Jewish religion. On the Sabbath day He was requested to take part in the service, to read a passage from the book of the prophets. Curiosity had been aroused concerning Him. Jesus looked upon familiar faces. His mother and His brethren and sisters were all there. Every eye was fastened upon Him in curious expectancy. And there was delivered unto Him the book, or parchment roll, of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book ... (see Bible [Luke 4:17-20]). There was a tenderness, a simplicity, and yet a remarkable distinctness and fervor in His utterance, for this was to Him a living reality. 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 2

He had announced His mission and then said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” [Verse 21.] These words of appeal [were] freighted with heavenly love and yearning tenderness to heal them from bodily infirmities as well as the sin of the soul. And the Spirit of the Lord was moving upon the hearts of the audience, for they were impressed that these words were the words of God. With thrilling power they struck upon every heart and brought forth fervent response. Those [present] witnessed to the gracious words that proceeded from His lips. All the universe of God was looking upon and marking that scene, and when the cold and callous hearts were stirred as they had never been before, heaven rejoiced. 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 3

But evil angels were in that audience and were at work. One of the hearers whispered to his fellow-hearer to suggest unbelief and doubts, which were entertained. The heavenly impressions were discounted as unbelief came in. Who is this? (See Vol. [2] Spirit of Prophecy, [ch. 7].) A Saviour from sin, a Comforter of sorrow, who has come to adjust human wrongs? To deliver the oppressed, to heal the brokenhearted and preach the gospel to the poor meant work of altogether a different order for them. Their life and deeds might be investigated too closely and their works might not bear inspection. They considered themselves very exact in outward ceremonies. They wanted a mighty general, a military leader who with supernatural power should humiliate the Roman power and avenge their national wrongs, and place the Jewish nation where they thought they deserved to be—the exalted of the world. Hearing of the miracles of Christ, they thought this power would be to their advantage. 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 4

The words spoken had strangely stirred their hearts but unbelief was again cherished. The door of the heart was opened, and the spirit of envy and criticism filled their souls; their hard hearts became so much the harder after being momentarily softened. “Who is this Jesus?” was the question of their unbelieving hearts. “Is He not the carpenter’s son, working at the trade with His father? Are not His mother and brethren and sisters here with us? Let Him work some miracle.” [Mark 6:3; Luke 4:22.] Unspoken words, but the atmosphere around Him was felt. He read their hearts. He answered the feelings of the audience. He said, “Ye will say unto Me, Physician, heal Thyself. Do here in Nazareth the miracles we have [heard] that Thou hast done in Capernaum, and evidence Thy claims to Messiahship.” He then said, “I tell a truth, no prophet is accepted in his own country.” (See Bible, [Luke 4:25-27].) 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 5

The moment He made reference to the favors and blessings given to the Gentiles, their national pride was at once escalated. Words were now spoken in no gentle manner and His words were drowned in a tumult there in the synagogue. They laid violent hands on Jesus, hurried Him to the brow of a hill, whereon the city was built, with the purpose to cast Him down headlong, but some were seeking to counterwork their purposes. Jesus stood in calm majesty, while their wrath seethed around Him and they contended what should be done unto Him. Angels of heaven preserved His life and made a way out of the throng, and He went on His way. Nazareth refused and rejected Him. 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 6

Here were the people who prided themselves on keeping the law, but because their ideas were crossed, their fierce national spirit was aroused to commit murder. It is said by the prophets, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged till He have set judgment in the earth.” [Isaiah 42:4.] Thank God for that saying. Here we can see the danger of misunderstanding and misinterpreting the Scripture. 6LtMs, Ms 39, 1889, par. 7