18 “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 recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
— Luke 4:18, 19
This passage and the following verses really affected me this morning.
Jesus is in Nazareth, his hometown. He goes to temple. He is called on the read.
He reads from Isaiah 61 a great passage where God promises the good news to the poor and the captives. And, “sight to the blind.”
He rolls up the scroll and sat down. As he is sitting he says to all, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
At first they marveled at “gracious words.” Then they started inspecting his genealogy. Jesus anticipates where their thoughts and ponderings about him will lead. He moves the battle that is going on from his pedigree to another level. He says you are probably thinking: “We’ve got the true Word from the One Lord God…you are not saying what we’ve heard from God before…so, you must be coming from another source and not our God.” “Physician heal yourself!!”, Jesus says.
Then Jesus presses even harder. Look at your history! Do you not remember the famine that God sent your ancestors during Elijah’s time? God sent a great 3.5 year famine on your ancestors, but who did he send his prophet to protect? Just one small widow, Zarephath, in Sidon (not Nazareth nor Jerusalem!). None of the other Jewish widows were saved or protected! Leporacy was rampant in Israel in Elisha’s time. But who did The Lord sent Elisha to heal? Naaman the Syrian alone!
People wake up! Pray that your God will come to you and heal you. Many are called but few are chosen. Pray that you are chosen. Pray that your eyes will open and that you can see what The Lord wants you to see.
Don’t go about as if things are normal. They are not! This is a time we need to seek God with all we have in us. We are in need of cleansing. We’ve been damaged and marred by the world, our culture, our own thought lives. We need liberation as did the captives in Isaiah 61 from which Jesus quotes. God’s Word still applies hundreds of years later. We are the captives that prophesy spoke of.
Jesus on that day said that he came for liberation and to restore sight to the blind.
Lord Jesus, help me to see that I am blind, that I am bound by sin and need liberation from it. Lord I want 2014 to be the year of the Lord’s favor on me, my community of believers, and my friends. May others find You because You visited me this year.
Be willing to give away all to receive the Pearl of Great Price.