He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. Then He began to speak to them. "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!" Luke 4:20-21
Do you ever find yourself doing something that you didn't even realize that you were doing? For example, have you ever been driving when, suddenly, you arrive at your destination, and you can't even remember how you got there? Or have you picked up your phone and started scrolling on social media without even meaning to? My friends, we have all done things mechanically without much thought, but let me assure you that Jesus Christ lived His entire life on earth knowing His purpose and living that purpose out.
In Luke 4, we learn that Jesus was gaining popularity. People from all over the region of Galilee, which is Northern Israel, were talking about Him. He spent a lot of time teaching in the local synagogues. Then, Jesus came to His hometown, Nazareth, which is a city in Galilee. He walked into a synagogue in Galilee and read Scripture. Specifically, He read from Isaiah 61:1-2a, which was part of our reading from yesterday. This prophecy says, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come" (Luke 4:18-19). After reading these verses, all eyes were locked on Jesus. Everyone must have been anticipating what was coming next. He looked at them and said, "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day" (Luke 4:21). In other words, Jesus was saying, "The one these verses in Isaiah are talking about is Me."
Jesus knew His purpose. In fact, these verses read by Jesus make it that clear that the purpose of His anointing was to heal people, physically and spiritually. He came to bring healing and freedom, and He did just that throughout His time on earth. He still brings healing and freedom today. He brings the ultimate healing and freedom: salvation to all who believe in Him.
Now that the Holy Spirit lives in us, we get to be the people who tell the world that Jesus brings healing and freedom, starting with our neighbors. Have you passed out your door hangers, inviting people to one of our Christmas Eve services? If not, what are you waiting for? Take time today to invite at least one person you know to come with you to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by giving them a door hanger.
Read Luke 4:14-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see,that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.
“Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”
When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.
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