Moses continues his recounting of the desert wandering, and talks about the reason why they went around the land of the Edomites. In Numbers, where we first encountered this story, we only see them ask for permission to pass through Edom but are denied. Now we hear the reason why they were so cordial with the Edomites, while they done battle with almost every other peoples they encountered.
He also recounts all the conquests they’ve made on the west side of the Jordan and his appointment of Joshua as his successor due to his ban from entering the promised land.
Jesus leaves his duel of wills in the desert and heads up to his ministry home base around the Sea of Galilee. After what is seemingly a short time, he heads home to Nazareth, and while there he does something that although not supernatural or miraculous, is one of my favorite scenes of his preaching ministry,
Jesus goes into the synagogue on the sabbath and gets up to read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He reads a couple of verses that pertain to the messiah and his liberation of the people.
The people of his time were often interpreting these messianic passages to mean literal freedom, as in a political leader to free them from the shackles of Rome, but the true meaning is liberation from idols, freedom from slavery, a release from their debt of sin, sight to see the good and follow after God.
After reading the passage he sits down. Luke tells us that all eyes were upon him, and I like to think there was this long and lingering moment of uncomfortable silence, until he breaks it by saying “today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He gets up and reads about the age of the messiah, and then essentially says ‘I am he.’
They all start talking and asking who does he think he is? He’s just the son of a day laborer, how can Jospeh’s son possibly be the messiah? And Jesus then drops the hammer on them. He says that a prophet is of no avail in his hometown, and then gives them a quick refresher on the history of God blessing gentiles through the prophets because the Israelites lacked faith.
That was too much for them and they explode in anger, driving him out of the city to kill him, in what is a foreshadowing of his people driving him out of the city of Jerusalem to have the hated gentiles kill him on their behalf.
Jesus leaves Nazareth and travels back to his base of operations near the Sea of Galilee and while there he expels a demon from a man. With just a few words he commands it to leave the man and it does. The townspeople are amazed at his authority to just say things and they happen, but what they don’t know is that Jesus is the very Word. Through him all things came into being, so all things are subject to his authority.
He then goes to Peter’s mother-in-law ‘s house and heals her of a fever. To anyone watching, they’d notice he had authority over things not just spiritual but physical as well. The entire universe, of things visible and invisible, are subject to him.