Jesus Rejected in Nazareth
Jesus was about thirty years old when He began His ministry. After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, Jesus was tempted in the desert. Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover. Then, He headed north to Galilee. He went through the region of Samaria, stopping at Jacob’s well to talk to a Samaritan woman.
Jesus began teaching in the synagogues. He went to the town of Nazareth, a small village in the hills between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. This was where Jesus grew up.
This week’s Bible story comes from Luke 4:14-30. On the Sabbath day, Jesus went into the synagogue. He read aloud the words of the prophet Isaiah. (See Isa. 61:1-2.) Then Jesus sat down. Everyone’s eyes were on Him as He explained, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” What was Jesus saying? Jesus was saying, It’s Me. The words Jesus read were coming true. Some of the people might have remembered Jesus from His youth. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?
Jesus knew their thoughts; Jesus had performed miracles in Capernaum, and the people wanted Jesus to do miracles in His hometown too. Jesus reminded them of two Old Testament accounts. Many widows lived in Israel when the prophet Elijah was there, but God sent Elijah to help a widow in another country. And Elisha likely encountered Israelites who had leprosy, but he healed Naaman the Syrian.
Jesus wanted the people to understand that His miracles were an act of grace—a gift. No one deserves God’s grace, so God may show grace to whomever He pleases—even Gentiles. The people were angry. They drove Jesus away, intending to kill Him, but Jesus escaped through the crowd.
As you teach boys and girls, explain that Jesus came to give sight to the blind and to set the captives free. He came preaching good news to all the people groups. Finally, the Messiah had come! Jesus was God’s plan to save sinners.
What types of rejection might kids face? How can you comfort them with the hope of the gospel? Leave a comment below. Leave a comment below.
Alyssa Jones has been a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids since 2011. She lives with her husband, Nate, and their two kids in Nashville, TN. Alyssa volunteers with the kids’ ministry at Refuge Church, a church plant in Franklin, TN.