Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 8
September 17, 2006
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
1901 ASV Translation:
21 And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
- I. This Scripture Has Been Fulfilled Today.
- A. That the focus is upon "Scripture" is significant because of the place it has in theology.
- 1. Several "theologies" have "books" that are supposed to be "authoritative" [Islam has the Koran; Mormonism has the Book of Mormon; etc.].
- 2. None of the "other" books actually argues for the legitimacy of its theology on the basis of fulfilled prophecy.
- 3. God argues with men in Isaiah about their penchant for idolatry in the face of the reality of "holy" Scripture as a revelation of the future -- i.e., prophecy.
- 4. If there were no other reason for a written revelation, the writing of prophetic utterances would be a sufficient basis to reveal God.
- B. When something God says actually "comes to pass" (and there are no moments in this time-bound journey of ours when that is not happening -- God's words cover every moment and every experience), it of the utmost importance that we pay attention.
- 1. The Nazarenes (the inhabitants of Nazareth) were "typical", godless hypocrites in one general respect: they allowed their moments to pass without allowing those moments to "speak to their ears".
- 2. The problem with that is that God has revealed Himself to be of limited patience when He has given great privilege: to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
- 3. The "surprise" is that God often "pulls the plug" when people have lapsed into thinking that "He will not do anything; He never has". There is no telling how many of the irreversible disasters that fall upon men have fallen because God's patience has run out.
- C. The particular "Scripture" was of "particular" importance: it "defines" one fourth of the character of God.
- 1. There are four Gospel records that are intended to put a "complete" picture of Jesus, the Son of God, before mankind.
- 2. That suggests very strongly that there are four major issues of critical importance to mankind.
- 3. Luke's choice of Isaiah's text was underwritten by the Spirit of God as the "nutshell" in which the "nut" of hugely significant truth was contained.
- 4. When that "nutshell" was cracked open so that the "nut" could be brought to light, one fourth of all the Truth that exists about God was "unveiled" in history.
- 5. To miss the significance of that "unveiling" because one's eyes were blind and one's ears were plugged up is to miss "Life" altogether.
- II. In Your Ears.
- A. This is an interesting "switch" from "the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened upon Him."
- B. Luke's focus on "ears" in both his Gospel and Acts is critical.
- 1. Eyes see phenomena.
- 2. Ears hear explanations.
- a. John leaped for joy when Mary's salutation "sounded in Elizabeth's ears": 1:44.
- b. Jesus' ability to impart "sight" to the "blind" was deliberately tied to His explanations of His actions: 4:21.
- c. Perception of Jesus' meaning in His parable of the soils was dependent upon "having an ear to hear": 8:8; and so also in 14:35.
- d. Jesus taught that "understanding" required that one let what he was taught "sink down into his ears": 9:44. The disciples, however, did not allow that to occur because they were so fixed upon being "greater than" one another.
- e. Stephen, in Acts 7:51, mentioned "uncircumcised ears" as the cause of generational resistance to the Holy Spirit, and in 7:57 they demonstrated the accuracy of his words.
- f. In Acts 28:27 Luke recorded Paul's chiastic "heart, ears, eyes, eyes, ears, heart" quote of Isaiah 6:9-10 to drive home the point that "ears" are "next to the heart" in respect to the things that have to be "on target" for "life" to be enjoyed. The chiasm focuses upon the "eyes" because Luke sees Jesus in light of His purpose for coming -- to give sight to the blind --, but there is no way to by-pass the ears (when the ears are a metaphor for "getting a legitimate explanation" for what is "seen").
- 3. But, ears are dominated by the heart as Luke 9:44 reveals and Acts 28:27 implies.
- a. The Isaiah 6 text is actually a chiasm that focuses upon the least important issue -- the eyes have to have ears for interpretation and a heart for the proper context.
- b. This reality is illustrated by the Nazarenes in their hateful reaction to Jesus.