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Faith in Action: Be the Church
Seeing People through Christ’s Eyes, part 3
Let’s continue reading: beginning with verse 16: “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ 20 And He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” ESV.
Let me quickly try to set the scene for us: Jesus had returned to His hometown, the town in which He grew up. It’s the Sabbath day, Saturday: probably in the morning. He goes to the synagogue, which is what Jesus has been doing in other towns. The synagogue is filled with people. The men and their sons are sitting on backless benches, and in the balcony are the wives, daughters and sisters. In the front of the room are a row of elders. One of them, the attendant, gets up and speaks briefly. He then asks Yeshua Ben Yusef, Jesus the son of Joseph, to read the scriptures. Jesus gets up and walks to the middle of the room where there is a raised desk, kind of like a podium. People are excited to hear from Him because all sorts of amazing stories have been circulating about this hometown boy.
Then the attendant carries a heavy scroll to the podium and hands it to Jesus. It’s a scroll containing the writings of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus unrolls the large scroll until He finds the passage that has been prescribed for this Sabbath. There are no chapter or verse divisions, but He comes to the passage, that we know as Isaiah 61:1–2. And then He begins to read… reading in a way that sounds different than the rest — He reads in a way that sounds like… well… like it is a self-proclamation. He speaks the first line... “The Spirit of the Lord is on ME...” When He says this, it doesn’t sound like He is just reading something that was written hundreds of years ago. It sounds like He is fully identifying with it.
In fact, looking back at verse 14, it says, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.” The Spirit of the Lord is on Him. “… because...” Jesus continues reading the old words with new meaning. “... He has anointed ME to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent ME to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’”
Jesus rolls up the scroll — hands it to the attendant — and then sits down. Everyone by now is staring at Him — their eyes are glued. You could hear a pin drop. Then… Jesus breaks the silence with these words, “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” BOOM! That was a slam-dunk, a mic-drop statement. When Jesus said that, it set all the people buzzing, to say the least.
Medication: A Merry Heart
ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER
PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER
THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE
THE MORSE CODE: When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS
DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM
SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME
ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY
ELECTION RESULTS: When you rearrange the letters: LIES – LET’S RECOUNT
SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z’S
A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange the letters: I’M A DOT IN PLACE
ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
Today’s readings: Leviticus 24 – 25