Chapter Four Wednesday, December 1, 2010 World AIDS Day
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
You may have noticed that Luke does not spend a lot of time on the joyful childhood experiences that Jesus shared with Mary and Joseph. He only mentions one situation when Jesus was a child. It was the Chapter Two famous ‘did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house’ quotation from the lips of a pre-teen Jesus. (See Luke 2:41-52 for review.)
From here on out we find Jesus as a fully grown man about age thirty as he prepares for the intensity of his earthly ministry. The first major obstacle is an encounter with Satan. This power scene of temptation opens Chapter Four and sends us marching victoriously into Nazareth. It is in his hometown synagogue that he is invited to read from the Holy Scriptures. He opens the scroll to the Book of Isaiah and reads.
He reads what most scholars consider to be the formal call to ministry for Jesus. It is his challenge, his marching orders, his ministry outline, and the core task that will always be central to his ministry. He will serve among the poor, the broken, and those who need recovery and salvation.
You would think that someone arriving in his hometown with a fresh victory over evil would receive a hero’s welcome. The hero welcome should especially apply when he publicly declares that he has not only defeated Satan but he is now about to accomplish something really spectacular in the world. Not so.
The people are furious. They run him out of town and actually try to take his life. How dare you speak words that imply that you are the Messiah? We know what the Messiah looks like and we know that you are just the carpenter son of Joseph. How wrong they were!
I was just wondering, have you ever been falsely accused? Have you ever been absolutely sure you were on the right track but the people around you thought you were all wet? Maybe they held a grudge against you or challenged you to the point that you became silent. Things happen. It happened for Jesus. He took it in stride, stepped forward into the will of God, and launched his active ministry of teaching and healing.
Is there an area of your life that needs the healing touch of Jesus? He’s been there you know. He understands. And, he is focused on fulfilling his call to ministry. Ask him in an act of prayer to touch your life and make you whole.