Thursday 10 January 2013

Bible Book:

"Then he began to say to them, 'Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'" (v. 21)

Luke 4:14-21 Thursday 10 January 2013


In Luke's Gospel this is the first account of a public event inJesus' ministry and it takes place in his home town. It isprogrammatic of the whole Gospel: Jesus is revealed first to hisown people, many of whom reject him, then he goes beyond to offergood news to the world.

Jesus has just come from a private time of testing in thewilderness (Luke 4:1-13), which has prepared him to beginhis public ministry. He takes part in synagogue worship in the sameway as all Jewish men - by reading from scripture and thencommenting. His choice, however, is significant. He reads from Isaiah61:1-2 and Isaiah 58:6 about the liberating acts of theServant of the Lord. His comment on the passage is startling: nocustomary long and erudite sermon, simply the statement that thepromise has been fulfilled in the presence of his listeners, he isthe Servant, the one who will bring liberty, healing andsalvation.

If we were to read on (verses22-30), we would see that the people of Nazareth, many of themprobably his friends and relations, were initially proud of hisimpressive public performance as a prophet. But Jesus goes on toexplain that, like Elijah and Elisha before him, he is sent toGentiles, people beyond the chosen race of Israel. This good newsis not, in fact, about liberation for the Jews from Romanoppressors, but about a whole new way of being for all people. Andthis provokes the jealous, possessive anger of the villagers, whodrive him out and try to throw him off a cliff.

When we informed my father that our daughter, his firstgrandchild, had been born, he replied by text message, saying"Noted". The revelation of Christ cannot simply be noted! The verypresence of Christ is a crisis that demands a decision and aresponse. The presence of Christ inaugurates a new age. Nothingwill continue the same, and it is up to each one who hears todecide how to respond to that change.

To Ponder

  • Has the presence of God ever been revealed to you in somethingunexpectedly familiar? How did it change the way you see theworld?
  • How do you respond to change?
  • Are there any situations in your life where you might need tobe the change simply be being the person God has called you to be?What reactions might you encounter?

Previous Page Wednesday 09 January 2013
Next Page Friday 11 January 2013