Those who wanted to listen could understand. Those who didn't want to understand didn't. Jesus was planting seeds among the people that day. It would be snatched from some. Others weren't ready to hear it. But for the ones that were, a Jesus kingdom of forgiveness and love began growing in thier life.
Jesus sees Levi, a man no one trusts, sitting at his stand on the shore of Galilee and he says to him, "Come Follow Me." How could Jesus do such a thing? Tax collectors were lumped into the same category as murderers and theives.
You've got to wonder if what Jesus told the leper was all in jest because the leper couldn't keep his mouth shut. He couldn't help but go and tell everyone what Jesus had done for him. It's as if Jesus infected the leper with something way more contagious than leprosy. Jesus had infected him with hope that leads to love.
A new wilderness prophet has arrived speaking on behalf of God but he knows he's unworthy to even take off the sandals of Jesus. And he's just the start of a long line of people who are unworthy to follow Jesus but Jesus extends an invitation to walk with him anyway.
Nearby, some shepherds were tending to their flocks. And while Caesar Augustus made his royal court in Rome, God had decided to make his royal court the fields where these shepherds lay. Caesar Augustus may have proclaimed a census from Rome but God would make his proclamation that the Messiah had entered the world by sending his messenger angels to the least likely and the oft forgotten.
God was about to speak into the silence but it would be more than just words this time. Zechariah's doubt would be turned upside down. The people's assumption that Elizabeth's barrenness was a curse would be proved false. John would bring them both great joy. Even their neighbors would celebrate all throughout the hills.
The temple was never designed to bring life. It was God in the temple that brings life. But now it's Jesus, God made flesh, that will be the glory of Israel, a light to the Gentiles, the Messiah who brings life.
Take down the mountains. Lift up the plains. Smooth out the rough spots. Make it easy for God's arrival because God is bringing good news, his Kingdom. His rule and reign will set everything straight. It will make all things new again. God will restore that which has been lost. His gentleness will restore their souls.
You could hear the whispers and the not so much whispers. People had a lot to say about who they thought Jesus was. Gossip and philosophies and people trying to figure out this man were everywhere to be found at this point in Jesus' life.
King Solomon had put a heavy burden on the people, both in taxation and labor. The Israelites had gathered to meet Rehoboam to ask him to make their burden lighter. Rehoboam would presented with a choice of what sort of king he would become.