Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus in His perfect humanity as the Son of Man was in the wilderness without food (4:2)! Satan seeks to "trick" Him in His weakened condition (4:3-13). Jesus visits His "hometown" (4:16). He reads Isaiah (4:18-19). Note the question in 4:22. Read His reply (4:23-27) and their response (4:28-29). Jesus teaches from a boat and gains some followers (5:1-11). Then He said to Matthew who was sitting in his office: Follow Me. And he (Matthew) left all, rose up, and followed Him (5:27-28). Physical and spiritual healings occur (5:18-20).
The beginning of the ministry that has changed the world began in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. This first reported discourse of Christ was in the synagogue where He had been brought up from His childhood to enter on the Sabbath. The Scripture was fulfilled in their ears that day as Jesus read Isaiah 61:1-2, that great prophetic passage concerning the Messiah.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus knew His purpose on earth was to do His Father's will revealed in the Scripture that He read.
In that synagogue were those who had seen Him as a child, played with Him in the streets, and known Him as the carpenter. There He stood, a humble Galilean peasant, and alone He confronted a world full of blindness, and asserted that He had the power and authority to heal all their suffering and sorrows. But He further explained how the compassion of God extended beyond their borders and unto all the world (4:25-27).
He went on to tell how the Gentiles, after hearing His claim of Isaiah 62:1-2, could have a share in the healing, sight, and liberty which he proclaimed. All the dreams of Jesus being a political Messiah were extinguished and the people were infuriated. In the whirlwind of their fury, they rose up, interrupting the synagogue service and dragged Him to a cliff high enough to kill anyone who was thrown over it. But He passing through the midst of them went His way (Luke 4:29-30).
Remember too that the same people who first listened to Jesus and marveled at His gracious words were ready to kill Him when His Word exposed their prejudices.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).
Thought for Today:
The Lord wants to be intimately involved in our lives — not just a bystander that is asked for advice in times of trouble.
4:29 brow =b> cliff; 5:9 draught =b> catch; 5:27 publican =b> a tax collector for Rome; 5:36 rent =b> tear.
For Luke 4:4: See Deuteronomy 8:3. Luke 4:8: See Deuteronomy 6:13-14. Luke 4:10-11: See Psalm 91:11-12. Luke 4:12: See Deuteronomy 6:16. Luke 4:18-19: See Isaiah 61:1-2. Luke 5:14: See Leviticus 14:1-32.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Gov. Haley Barbour (MS), Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC), Gov. Bill Owens (CO), and Rep. John Shadegg (AZ) • Country: Latvia (2.48 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Latvian and Russian • Religious freedom • 20% Protestant (mainly Lutheran); 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Orthodox; .9% Jewish; .4% Muslim; 43.7% Atheist/Agnostics/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is always ready to help you in times of trouble (Psa. 46:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19