Luke 4:16-19 - And He (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, "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 the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
The passage in Luke describes the day Jesus presented Himself at the synagogue in Nazareth. 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 all 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 think they can see but are blind, those who think 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: Heavenly Father, give me a poor and humble heart to receive the gift of Your salvation. Deliver me from my foolish pride and help me look with mercy upon those You love, sharing Your love far and wide. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This devotion is based on the text, "Good News For The Poor," written by Rev. Dr. Antonio Schimpf, a professor at Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1. What are your favorite freedoms?
2. Do you think those who heard Jesus read the verses from Isaiah realized they were talking about Him? Do you think you would have?
3. Can you name a few "blind spots" people have in respect to the Gospel?
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