Christmas Reflections - Day 21
The Mission of Jesus I - (Luke 4:16-21)
Jesus began his ministry by preaching in his hometown of Nazareth and afterwards began preaching in many other places. Jesus' attendance at the synagogue reveals his belief in the Jewish worship system; he was a regular at the Synagogue worship as time permitted him.
He spent most of his life and ministry in the region of Galilee when he began his public ministry and he relocated to Capernaum on the sea of Galilee.
On this occasion, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah 61:1-2 and also quoted from Isaiah 58:6. The Lord knows and is aware of his anointing and did not shy away from claiming to be the Messianic servant of God and that the passage is actually a reference to him.
The Jewish Rabbis interpreted this passage to refer to the Messiah and everyone in the synagogue knew this. They must have been shocked however when Jesus claimed that the passage was written about him and not only that, that he had come to usher in the acceptable year of the Lord. Knowing that he was the son of Joseph and Mary made this claim audacious!
The year of the Lord is a reference to the year of jubilee described in Leviticus 25 where every 7th year is a sabbatical year for the nation. During this time, the land was allowed to rest and the 50th year was set apart as a year of jubilee where slaves were set free, property that was sold reverted to the original owners and debts were cancelled.
Jesus applied all these to his mission. The application is in both physical and spiritual sense.
His mission is that he brought the good news of salvation to sinners; he brought healing to those who are brokenhearted and those who are rejected; he brought deliverance to the blind and those in bondage to demons and diseases. The coming of Jesus was indeed a spiritual year of jubilee for the nation of Israel and the world at large.
As you take a look at the mission of the coming Jesus, there are questions we need to ask ourselves: do I understand what he actually came to do? Have I actually come to the realization of his mission to humanity and to me? How do I live as one who has been delivered from the power of sin?