THURSDAY 22nd MARCH 1984
READING: Luke 4:14-21 English - Larry Chinese - Katty
Jesus Begins His Ministry
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
~Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;
17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
COMMENTARY - Elizabeth
After Jesus had been baptized, and then spent time in the desert, he went to church. It is important to note that Jesus went to church. Sometimes we are critical about the churches we attend. Sometimes we may be tempted to think that we would be better not going to church at all - "I can worship under the morning sun on the beach." But Jesus, who must have found a lot in the church to criticize, still went to church, however dull or uninteresting it was.
While at church, he was asked to read from the Bible and he chose a passage from Isaiah. This statement, printed in verses 18 and 19, formed the commission statement of Jesus. A commission is the task that a person is committed to perform. God gave this commission to Jesus, and he accepted the authority of God to carry out this task.
The commission of Jesus should become the commission of all those who follow him. It is the task of all those who would be in the Kingdom of God to follow Christ in:
- Preaching Good News to the poor;
- Healing the broken hearted;
- Releasing captives;
- Giving sight to the blind;
- Freeing the downtrodden from their oppressors.
Sometimes the church has failed to understand the whole range of this commission. Some people emphasize preaching and forget all else. Others emphasize healing or justice but forget to tell people about the Good News of Jesus. The task of all Christians is broader than any one of these things. As Jesus indicated by choosing this quotation from Isaiah, his task was about preaching, restoring social relationships, healing the sick, and correcting injustice. In World Vision we are trying to bring this total gospel wherever we work.
Heavenly Father, help us to understand the fullness of the task you place before each of us as Christians.
In Jesus' Name we pray. A-men