He (Jesus) went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach 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 4:16-19
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
The passage in Luke describes the day Jesus presented Himself at the town's synagogue. He came as one who is there to explain a plan. He had been put there by God to undo the great tragedy caused by humanity's disobedience. He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit's power, to be an obedient Servant until the end of His mission. The old prophecies of blessing, given to the patriarchs and prophets, would be fulfilled in Him.
Jesus' coming was good news for those who represented the least-favored parts of society. They were those who enjoyed fewer privileges. They were those who, according to traditional Judaism, were excluded from the Kingdom. They were those who had little to lose and everything to win. The first generation of believers was part of that social sector. A jubilee was now announced to them, a time in which debts were paid and the oppressed recovered their dignity.
The reality of salvation is the same today, and still there are many who completely miss the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are those who believe they can see but are blind, those who believe they are rich but are empty, and those who think they're free but are still tied to the powers of this world. Jesus offers His salvation to those who are aware they have nothing to offer and everything to receive. It is beautiful to see when God, working through His Gospel, restores the lives of those who are rejected into an eternal relationship with Himself through the redemptive work of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Lord, give me a poor and humble heart to receive the gift of Your salvation. Free me of pride and help me look with mercy upon those You love. Make me an instrument to share Your Good News. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion is based on a text written by Antonio Schimpf, a professor at Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this South American country of over 40 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries -- known locally as Cristo Para Todas las Naciones (Christ for All Nations) -- connects with people through Project JOEL, Equipping the Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), as well as by supporting church missions in Rosario, Tucuman, Salta, and Patagonia.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.