Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 11
October 8, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<286> Thesis: Beware of the practice of religion where there is no reality. Introduction: The record by Luke of the situation in Nazareth at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult issues that mankind faces in this world. There is absolutely nothing quite like being immersed in a given "God-speak" of heart and mind and having that religious bent be in total error. And, it is even of greater horror when that "God-speak" has a violent commitment to its accuracy because of its underpinnings in "words from God". {Be aware that the level of violence is indicative of two facts: one, that the person who is violent is heavily invested in seeking status [Note Saul of Tarsus who, because he made it his goal to "advance beyond ... my countrymen" (Galatians 1:14), was the "chief of sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15) by reason of his violence]; and, two, that the person who is violent is typically incredibly self-righteous and justifies his godlessness by "zeal".} And, perhaps the greatest horror of all is when the "words from God" are actually found in authentic Scripture. Though it only takes a minor "tweak" to turn authentic words into apostate lies, it is not a "minor" thing for a man to be willing to make that "tweak". It is a manifestation of an apostate heart that has angrily turned from the only God there is to attempt to force itself upon the world. Our study of the record of Jesus' words to the Nazarenes is fraught with the danger of the idea that what we are doing today is "only church" and Jesus' treatment of the Nazarenes is just a little squabble in a backwash in ancient history. But, our study is also filled to the brim with great possibilities of enormous, eternal good -- for we are studying the words of One Who was filled with grace and truth. So, let us consider Jesus' references to two crucial historical events in Israel's ancient past.