Lent – Day 9: Friday, 26 February
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’
Jesus claims words of prophecy written in the (Old Testament) book of Isaiah. He claims these words as being about him. When he said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”, those words, copied by scribe after scribe over many generations, were spoken into life; their time had come, they rose from the scroll and met their fulfilment in Jesus in the synagogue in his home town, Nazareth.
It is Jesus, and no other, who has been anointed, royally equipped and commissioned for the task of proclaiming good news, freedom, healing, release, and announcing that God is looking kindly on his people. Jesus’ relationship with the Holy Spirit is as one who follows, as when he was led into the wilderness for forty days, and as one who has been equipped for the task set before him.
If you read on, you’ll see that his townspeople did not think much of what Jesus had done. Again, this points to his thirty years of quiet, unassuming life in Nazareth in contrast to the Holy Spirit-filled man who was standing in the synagogue that Sabbath day.
How do people know you?
Can you think of examples of each of the aspects of commission being carried out by Jesus in his ministry?
Do the words from Isaiah now go into cold storage?
Father God, those words of prophecy had lain dormant for many hundreds of years, but you are true to your promises. Fulfil in my Church fellowship Jesus’ promise that he would build his Church. Amen