Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"As was his custom"

"And he went to the synagogue, as was his custom, on the Sabbath day." Luke 4:16

Those four little words, "as was his custom," show up one other time in the book of Luke. Near the end of his life, we read that Jesus "went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives" (22:39).

Jesus worshipped regularly with his community "as was his custom", and Jesus spent time in private prayer "as was his custom."

Nazareth was an ordinary town with ordinary people. I imagine it was "average" worship--nothing too flashy or inspiring--but it was Jesus custom to attend.

There is growing talk of people worshipping outside of church. Some forego church as we know it in favor of walks through the woods, home worship, or podcasting.

It was in the Son of God's custom to go to the synagogue. If anyone could make a case for not needing to worship at the synagogue surely it was Jesus. But he doesn't. Jesus doesn't argue that he can better connect with the Father elsewhere. He attends the synagogue in Nazareth...as was his custom.

(I'm preaching from this text next week, and although I'm using a different approach to this passage, I'd certainly welcome any thoughts or insights that might come to mind.)


Erik said...

Yeah, and the cool thing is, becuase Jesus didn't really do things to please people, or keep up appearances, you know He truly wanted to go.

How many times did he offend people by doing the right thing, instead of going with the socially accepted norm, and not rock the boat?

Josh said...

I'm not sure Jesus would go if he had the new video iPod. Sure, he might have went if he had the iPod Mini, but not if he had the video iPod. It's one thing to "have Church" while listening to U2, it's another to have Church while WATCHING U2. :)

I wonder what Jesus custom would be today if he were living in Israel? A synagogue or a sweet Mars Hill Church plant in the upper West Side of Jerusalem?

I do like your phrase pull-out. Seems to say something about the practices of Jesus...whether it be the synagogue or the mount of olives. I wonder which one was more like Church to him?

Tony Myles said...

Jesus doesn't discount time with others in the Synagogue... He does that.

Jesus doesn't discount time alone with God in nature... He does that.

Jesus doesn't discount time in a small group with His closest friends... He does that.

Jesus doesn't discount socializing with new friends over drinks... He does that. (oops)

Jesus doesn't discount interacting with religious people who will listen... He does that.

Jesus doesn't discount touching the sick, homeless, and rejected... He does that.

Sounds like you can't preach one without preaching all of them.

Gwen said...

I'll be praying for your message. Is it the 8th? Sunday morning?

What is the focus of this passage in your message, if not your post thought? Just curious . . .

I love the passage in John 12 (last verse) where Jesus says that whatever he says is what his Father has told him to say. I'm sure the time in the mount of olives, as was his custom, was to hear the Father's heart.