September 13 - Luke 4:14-30

Friday, September 13, 2013

Luke 4:14-30 – Jesus in Nazareth

Luke reminds us often that Jesus is filled with the Spirit of God. When the angel announced his conception to Mary, it was by the work of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), the Spirit descend upon him as a dove at his baptism (Luke 3:22) and throughout the story of the temptation, we see that Jesus is ‘full of the Spirit’ and ‘led by the Spirit’ (Luke 4:1). In these verses we begin by reading that he returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14) and in Luke 4:18, Jesus reads a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2 and begins by saying “The Spirit of the Lord is on me …”

It is in Jesus that God’s activity becomes once again visible to the world and it is in Galilee, that for Luke, the story of salvation and its place in history finds its beginning.  In Luke 4:16, the author sets a bookmark in history. Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He was a Jew who spent time in the synagogue on the Sabbath. It was his custom.

Jesus, led by and full of the Spirit, was a man who grew up in a small town in Israel and lived as any righteous Jew should.

On this day, however, everything changed. Jesus stood before the people he knew well and announced the beginning of the Year of Jubilee. Salvation had come. It was fulfilled in him. He linked himself to very familiar history and at the same time, pointed ahead to the coming fulfillment of God’s will.

At first the audience was pleased with him. His words were easy to hear, but the moment he began to speak to them of judgment, they became furious and drove him out of town. He brought salvation first to those whom he knew well and was rejected by them. He began a journey that would offer salvation to the world.