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Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

The following is a list of Bible Truths in Luke 4:16-30, the story of Jesus' rejection at Nazareth.

  1. Jesus went to church on the Sabbath.  Luke 4:16.
  2. Jesus read the Bible.  Luke 4:16-17.
  3. As a prophet anointed by God, Jesus announced God's message of salvation  Luke 4:18-21.
  4. The message of salvation is meant for all people.  Luke 4:18-19, 21, 24-27.
  5. Salvation goes to those responding in faith to Jesus' message of salvation.  Luke 4:23-27.
  6. The loss of spiritual blessing (and opportunity) results from not believing the words of Jesus.  Luke 4:23-27.
  7. A person's pride or expectations may keep that person from responding with faith to Jesus' message of salvation.  Luke 4:22-27.

The following Background Information is helpful in understanding the story.

Synagogue - A building used by Jews for prayer, religious study, and worship of God.
Prophet - A person called and commanded by God to speak God's message to the people.
Jewish Expectations - During New Testament times, the Jews were hoping that God would anoint a descendent of David as king of Israel for the purpose of restoring Israel's righteousness and freeing Israel from foreign domination.  This divinely appointed king would be the Messiah.  Thus, Jesus, who had no wealth or status but was just the son of Joseph the carpenter, did not fit the Jewish expectation of a Messiah.
Rejection of Jesus - The story does not say why the people got mad at what Jesus said.  The possibilities include.
Pride - The Jews were God's chosen people who believed in God and thought they would receive all of God's blessings.  Perhaps the Jews were upset because Jesus not only implied that the Jews were an unbelieving people who would miss out on God's salvation, but also that the Gentiles were more worthy than the Jews.
Further Pride - Elijah and Elisha lived during a time when the nation of Israel did much evil in the sight of the Lord.  Perhaps the Jews thought Jesus meant they were as evil as the Israelites who lived with Elijah and Elisha.
Jesus was a false prophet - Jews believed salvation came from keeping the Mosaic Law and performing works.  Jesus taught that faith brings salvation, not obeying the Law or works.  Jesus' new teaching, combined with the facts that he did not perform miracles to confirm his authority and that he was only the son of a carpenter, may have led some to conclude that Jesus was a false prophet.

The following activities can be used to teach the Bible story and truths.

Bible Story Activities.
Don't Judge a Snack by its Cover.  Use this idea to teach children that choices should not be based solely on appearances.
Put an unopened package of beans or rice and one cracker in a box.  Wrap the box like you would a nice present.
Put the snack for the week in another beat up, dirty box and leave it unwrapped.
Tell the children there is a snack inside both boxes, but they can only have the snack from one of the boxes.  Let the children vote on which box to open.  The vote must be unanimous.
After the vote, show the children the contents of the other box.
Give them the real snack for the week.


Read the story from a scroll.  Use butcher paper and dowels to make a scroll.  Use the Bible to copy the story on the scroll.  Let the children take turns reading the story from the scroll.
Make a scroll.  Each student can make a scroll using straws and letter size paper.  The children can write the Memory Verse or Bible Truth on the scroll. 

Life in Biblical Times

Write the Memory Verse or Bible Truth using Ancient Writing Techniques.
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