“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 (ESV)
Shepherds watching over their sheep. Angels glorifying God. The baby in the manger. The wise men and their gifts. The Christmas story. Or is it? Has our familiarity with Christmas dismissed the True One Who brought Good News?
Have we forgotten the promises of the Good News? Liberty to the captives. Sight to the blind. Freedom to the oppressed. The year of the Lord’s favor.
One Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue in His hometown, Nazareth. He read from the scroll of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-19 ).
He sat down and said, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:21b (NLT)
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 4:22b (NLT)
No Prophet Accepted in His Hometown
Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in His own hometown,” Luke 4:24 (NLT).
Familiarity with the hometown Jesus dismissed Him as the One Who brought the Good News of liberty and the year of the Lord’s favor.Tweet
Jesus reminded them that Elijah was sent to a foreign woman, the widow of Zarephath, during a three-and-a-half-year drought, 1 Kings 17:9.
He reminded them that 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.
Familiarity Dismissed the Good News
They missed His message—the Good News—the eye-opening liberty and favor of Jesus’ coming. Jesus brought forgiveness of sins, eternity with the Loving Father, the Creator of the Universe. Jesus offers salvation. But His hometown dismissed His Good News.
Because of our familiarity with the Good News of Christmas, have we dismissed the true meaning of our celebrations?
O LORD, we don’t want to misunderstand You. We want to understand the Good News of Your coming. In the Good News is life and liberty. We want to see and comprehend Your liberty. You have freed Your followers from our slavery to sin and have given us eternal life with You if we accept Your gift. Your favor is upon us. We praise Your name. Amen.
- Read Luke 4:16-30. What does the Scripture say about Jesus? About the people? Can you identify with the people?
- Read Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus doesn’t quote the last part of verse 2. Do you know why? Read the rest of the chapter. Remember, the Scriptures speak of the day that they were written in and the future.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you have missed the full meaning of the Good News.
How are you celebrating the promises of the Good News this Christmas?
Behold Our Savior … 31 Reflections
Featured Photo: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Jesus Unrolls the Book in the Synagogue, Brooklyn Museum, https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4471
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