SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:14-30
1. “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit” – He was filled by the Spirit when He went into the desert, and after standing firm in the test, He now comes out of the desert in the power of the Spirit. When we pass the test, we come out stronger, more filled and empowered by the Spirit for serving Him.
2. “On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom” – Jesus came first for the Jews, to honour the special agreement (covenant) that God has with Israel through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-2). But the intent is not to exclude other peoples, but to remind the Jews what the special agreement was for… to be a blessing to all the nations!!!
3. “To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” – The year of Jubilee (year of the Lord’s favour) was a symbol for Israel of the ultimate rest and peace of God’s restored Kingdom, when all prisoners are freed, all debts are paid, and everyone is restored to their rightful place in God’s world. “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” – Jesus is the fulfillment of this hope, for He is the way to God’s restored world (Kingdom, paradise, new creation).
4. “Amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips… All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this” – At first they were impressed, but Jesus does not let their flattery go to His head. He exposes their fickle acclaim, and they are furious. They assume that His success depends on their acclaim, but Jesus shows that God does not work that way.
5. “He walked right through the crowd and went on his way” – Probably a moment when His God-empowered authority and power exuded from Him in such a way that everyone stood back. Maybe He looked deep into their eyes and hearts, and scared them. They pull back, and He walks away… and they are left wondering what just happened there.
6. This story reminds us that although what God is doing through Jesus is exciting and wonderful, it is not in the normal way expected and many people will reject it because it does not fit with their expectations and presuppositions. God should work their way, not the other way around!
Lord, forgive me for being like this, for getting angry when You do not do things the way I expect You to. Help me to humbly submit myself to You. Amen.