Challenging times. Costly times. Dark times. Oppressive times. Jesus knew those times. These are our times today.
Jesus brought Good News, but it was not always accepted.
After His wilderness temptations, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. He taught in the synagogues, and the people were amazed at His teachings.
One Sabbath, He entered the synagogue in His hometown, Nazareth, and read from the scroll of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1).
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,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
He sat down and said, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:21
The people knew that this Scripture was a prophecy of the coming Messiah who would set up His kingdom.
Does He really mean that He is the Anointed One? That the Holy Spirit is upon Him? Is this THE PROPHET?
“How can this be? Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:22
Jesus said, “No prophet is accepted in His hometown,” Luke 4:24. Jesus reminded the Nazarites that Elijah was sent to a foreign woman, the widow of Zarephath, during a three and a half year drought, 1 Kings 17:9 . Elisha healed a Syrian leper, Naaman, although there were many lepers in Israel, 2 Kings 5:1.
When the people heard this, they jumped up and mobbed Jesus, but He passed through the crowd and went to Capernaum to teach.
They missed His message.
Do we sometimes miss the Good News of Jesus because we have different expectations of Him?
3 Proclamations of Jesus
Jesus came in the power of the Holy Spirit to make three proclamations.
- Good News to the poor. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:3. The poor in spirit recognize their need for Jesus. We owe a great debt that they cannot pay. We have sinned against God. Jesus came to pay that debt, so that we would be cleansed of our sins, 1 Peter 2:24. When we ask Jesus to pay for our sins, we become rich in His kingdom. We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, Ephesians 1:3. Are you possessing all the blessings that are available to you?
From poverty to riches.
- Liberty to the captives, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed. “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin,” John 8:34. As slaves to sin, we do not see the Light of Jesus. “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” John 8:12. As we follow Jesus, we understand the principles of His kingdom with each step. The chains of oppression or brokenness are severed, for “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” Psalm 34:18. Are you broken today? The LORD is near to you and will break that oppression you are experiencing.
From captivity, blindness, and oppression to liberty, sight, and freedom.
- Year of the Lord’s favor. During the Jubilee Year, slaves were set free, debts were canceled, and new beginnings became possible, Leviticus 25:9-15 . Jesus came to set us free from our sins, John 1:29. He paid the price for our sins, 1 Peter 2:24, and we are new creations in Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Are you the same person you were before you accepted Jesus into your heart?
Sin-free + Debt-free = Begin FREE
Almighty God, Loving Father, Holy Lord, thank You for sending Jesus to proclaim freedom from sin and its debt, knowledge of You, and new beginnings. Cause this gift of freedom to sink into my heart, so that I live in that freedom and proclaim it to others. We bask in Your favor and bow in humility before You. Amen.
Jesus brings freedom!
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