The Scripture Reading Heard Round the World

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daily text logoFebruary 4, 2015

Luke 4:1-30

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. (passage continues here)

CONSIDER THIS

word-and-spiritDo you remember that little bit at the end of yesterday’s text where Luke told us, “When Satan had finished all his tempting, he left him until an opportune time. v.13. ??

Can you say, “FORESHADOWING”? ;0) So we will put a pin in that for now, and yet there’s a whole lesson in there about how Satan and temptation and human vulnerability and pride and fasting and the power of weakness and the “opportunism of darkness,” but we will leave that for another time.

It brings up another thing I’ve been wanting to point out to you. Sometimes we can get impatient with Scripture and try to force it to answer the question, “But how is this relevant to my life?” Did you notice how Satan did that yesterday when in temptation #3 he said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” And then as if to say– here’s a relevant text for the moment– “For it is written, He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Yes, Satan reads Scripture and he will tempt us to read Scripture in ways contrary to Scripture. He will tempt us to force our own meaning onto the text and to make applications of it that may seem relevant at the time but are far from the truth and will of God. (i.e. see Ephesians 6:5)

It’s yet another reason why we follow Jesus– the One who inspired the Scriptures– who always leads us in a right reading; a reading which is true to the bigger story God is unfolding. In the face of this misapplication of Scripture, he said, “It is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

And so we come to Nazareth, the hometown of the Son of God. Before we get there, though, note once again how the text begins, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.” Are you seeing the almost constant interplay between the Word of God and the Spirit of God? As it was with Jesus, so it is with us: Word and Spirit, Word and Spirit, Word and Spirit.

He enters the synagogue on the Sabbath. Standing up to read, he is handed the appointed reading for the day. Picture him unrolling the ancient scroll of the Prophet Isaiah. Lo and behold, he goes to the place we would reference as Isaiah 61. Here’s a mind-blower: the Word of God is reading the Word of God. It bears repeating:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

He roll up the scroll, hands it to the scroll boy and sits down. What happens next is nothing short of astonishing. All eyes are on him, and out of the silence he speaks,

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! The Prophecy is fulfilled. I am the anointed one Isaiah pointed to. Word and Spirit perfectly unified in Me— for the whole world.

The Word made Flesh declares the Kingdom has come and it is in his very person. He is the King and the Kingdom. This word from Isaiah– about good news to the poor, release for prisoners, sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed, the unbridled favor of the Lord– this is how the POWER OF LOVE works. This is what a real King does for his people. This is what the King’s people do for the world.

In order to be ready for tomorrow, I want you to read the rest of the text for today.  (about 8 more verses) Things take quite an interesting turn after this little demonstration in the synagogue. I’ll see you tomorrow in Capernaum. Remember, we are going to the Mountain.

power-of-love

#MARCHING TO ZION

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. […] Remember that early synagogue scene in Nazareth, the one where he read from Isaiah 61 about the captives being set free and the poor hearing good news and the oppressed being released? You remember this. It was when Jesus rolled up the ancient scroll, sat down and spoke the sentence heard round the world: Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. Well, that scene back there is this scene in action. Now the fireworks start going off. […]

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