Sunday 24 January 2016

Bible Book:

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (v. 21)

Luke 4:14-21 Sunday 24 January 2016

Psalm: Psalm 19


Jesus has returned to his home town after his Baptism, thedescent of the Holy Spirit (Luke3:21-22), and the temptations in the wilderness (Luke4:1-13).

The beginning of Jesus' ministry is littered with references tothe signs of his continuity with the line of Jewish kingshipstretching back to David. In the Davidic tradition, the signs ofGod's call to kingship begin with anointing of the chosen one by aprophet: David is anointed with oil by Samuel (1Kings 16), Jesus with the water of Baptism by John. Theanointed king receives the Spirit - the Spirit comes "mightily uponDavid" (1 Kings 16:13) from the day of his anointing,and on Jesus as he prays after his baptism. Signs follow,demonstrating the power of the Spirit: David defeats Goliathagainst the odds (1 Kings 17), Jesus performs signs, teaches withauthority, and heals.

However, there are indications that, as well being in continuitywith the line of David, the kingship of Jesus will be of adifferent kind. While the people acclaim David ('Saul has killedhis thousands, but David his tens of thousands'), the rejection ofJesus by his own community is a sign of things to come (Luke4:28-29). Where David ascended a throne, Jesus ascends across.

The Gospel writers constantly wrestle with the paradox thatJesus fulfils Israel's expectation of the restoration of David'sline, but in a way that was completely unexpected. Luke's Gospel ispreparing us for the nature of Jesus' kingship and a kingdom builtnot on force of arms, but by a love, and life, that even deathcould not destroy.

To Ponder

  • How do you relate to the language of kingship applied toJesus?
  • What other imagery, language, titles - from the Bible or fromother sources - help to express Jesus' identity for you?
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