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. And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:18-21).

The presence and identity of Jesus was revealed to a select few that were present at His baptism by His cousin John. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased (3:22). However, the ministry that was destined to change the world began at His childhood synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. On a Sabbath day in His thirtieth year, He entered the synagogue, as was His custom, and proceeded to read Scripture. He chose Isaiah 61:1-2, the great prophetic passage concerning the Messiah. Jesus stood humbly in front of these men that He had known for His entire life and calmly revealed His purpose on earth, which was to do His Father's will.

In that synagogue there were those who had seen Him as a child, played with Him in the streets, and known Him as the carpenter's son and apprentice. Now He stood before them, a humble Galilean peasant, and proceeded to state that He was God's promised Messiah. He claimed that He had come to confront a world full of blindness and asserted that He had the power and authority to heal all suffering and sorrows. In the next breath, however, He sorrowfully stated that their unbelief would prevent Him from being able to work among them. And He said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in His own country (4:24). He went on to explain how the compassion of God extended beyond their borders and unto all the world. He told how the Gentiles, too, after their eyes were opened, would be able to have a share in the healing, sight, and liberty He would provide. Upon hearing this, the men grew restless and disturbed (4:25-27). The words of Jesus didn't mesh with their dreams of a militarily strong, political Messiah, and the people were infuriated. In the whirlwind of their fury, they turned on Him and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He passing through the midst of them went His way (Luke 4:29-30).

Just as Jesus, at the start of His ministry, was rejected by those who knew Him best, so too does He face similar rejection today. Too many so called "believers" claim to know Him intimately, but then turn around and reject everything that He taught. They no longer follow the Messiah that came to preach the acceptable year of the Lord; instead they follow their own paths and ascribe their beliefs to Him. As we grow closer to our Lord, we must guard against forming a familiarity that will lead us to believe that we know Him better than the Bible does! The teachings of Jesus remain unchanged. He is now, and forevermore will be, our only path to the Father.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb. 13:8).

Thought for Today:

He answered and said, Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see (John 9:25).

Christ Revealed:

For Luke 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Luke 4:8: See Deut. 6:13-14. Luke 4:10-11: See Ps. 91:11-12. Luke 4:12: See Deut. 6:16. Luke 4:18-19: See Is. 61:1-2. Luke 5:14: See Lev. 14:1-32.

Word Studies:

4:29 brow of the hill = edge of a cliff; 5:9 draught?= catch; 5:27 a publican = a tax collector for Rome; 5:36 rent = tear.

Prayer Needs:

Sponsored By James & Ila Drost • Government Official: Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC) • Country: Ethiopia (96,633,458) Eastern Africa • Major Languages: Amharic, Tigrinya • Some religious discrimination • 43.5% Ethiopian Orthodox; 33.9% Muslim; 18.6% Protestant; 2.6% Traditional; 0.7% Roman Catholic; 0.7% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness and faithfulness (Ps. 138:2).

Memory Verse:

Isaiah 9:7 - (HCSB) The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries