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!” Luke 4:16-21 (NLT)
“Mom said I could!!” What powerful words. I am the youngest of nine kids. I spent my pre-school years tormenting the 3 youngest boys in the family. Gene, Wayne and Gail were in high school when I was a pre-schooler. I loved them. They were my heroes. Wherever they were, I wanted to be. Whatever they were doing, I wanted to do. As a 4-year-old I didn’t know how annoying I was. I had a bit of an idea because every-once-in-a-while I had to rely on a higher authority; mom. When my brothers told me I couldn’t “play” with them, I got mom’s “anointing” and that was the end of the disagreement.
Sometimes, Jesus cracks me up. I think Jesus had a great sense of humor. Perhaps you don’t see this passage in Luke the way I do, so let me share my imagination of that day in Nazareth.
In this passage, Jesus returns to His boyhood home; the town where He played in the streets with the other boys. I know it’s the Bible and I know it’s Jesus, but keep in mind the people in Nazareth hadn’t read Luke 4. Jesus was the guy who grew up in that town, had His Bar Mitzvah and then left Joseph & Son’s Carpentry to pursue “other interests.” My nephew, who is now a husband, father, doctor and research scientist, is forever frozen in my mind at age 8. When we discuss his research, sometimes it’s the image of the little boy with a bean stuck in his ear that I hear talking about recombinant DNA. I have to wonder if the people in the Synagogue at Nazareth that day were experiencing the same phenomena.
Jesus took the scroll. It wasn’t NIV. I can see Him winding it to the precise passage in Isaiah. Then He reads it aloud. Goosebumps fill the synagogue. The people aren’t sure why the scripture reading sounded different that day. On other Sabbath days, during the scripture reading, it was easy to lose focus; but not today. Every good Jew in attendance, knew this passage was the prophesy from Isaiah about the coming Messiah.
Jesus finished and rolled up the scroll. The only sound was the crinkle of the papyrus. The congregation; still goose-bumpy, watched, jaws dropped, uncertain of their feelings, as Jesus walked silently back to His seat. Jesus sat down and things got really crazy.
I’m sure the synagogue was silent as Jesus told them all He was the Messiah. I’m sure Jesus made eye contact with everyone there as He said it. I chuckle thinking of the looks on the faces of those in attendance that day. Imagine it. The kid you watched grow up, just told you HE is the Messiah.
I bet Jesus chuckled just a bit as He looked at the crowd.
God sent Jesus on a mission. Jesus has God’s permission to do all sorts of grand and wonderful things. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, change that today. If you do and you find yourself floundering, perhaps you should pay better attention to the scripture reading – Jesus is talking to us!!
Jesus was saying, “Dad said I could” when He read this scripture.
Many, both Christians and non-Christians, shy away from Jesus thinking that He will ask too much of them. Not so. Jesus came to bring the blessings of the Father.
Jesus came to be Immanuel, God with us. When He came He brought with Him divine redemption. Do you need healing, freedom, good news or restoration? You can find it in Jesus.