Read Luke – Chapter 4
Jesus used words from the prophet Isaiah to announce his mission to the people who had watched him grow up: he would proclaim good news to the poor, set captives free, bring sight to the blind, and free the oppressed.
These words paint a powerful picture of God’s Kingdom, where God is at work, restoring everything in his creation that sin has distorted or destroyed, making things new, whole, right and good. If you were to sum up the Gospel, or Good News, in a few words, how would you describe it?
It's interesting to me that initially the people in Jesus’s hometown were amazed as Jesus announced that God’s Kingdom was coming through him.
When we read the section too quickly, we can assume that they became angry because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah — like, “Who does he think he is?” But that wasn’t it at all. They proudly spoke well of him and were amazed at his gracious words at first. They became angry when he said he was going to help others from the “outside” — gentiles — like Elijah and Elisha did.
Luke uses this incident to show us once again that God’s Kingdom is open to everyone — that God is no respecter of the boundaries or barriers we create to divide and segregate people.
Reflect for a minute: where in your thinking do you separate yourself from “those people”? For the people in Nazareth it was gentiles. For you, is it other people of other races? Immigrants? Illegal aliens? LGBTQ people? People dependent on welfare? People who have everything they could possibly desire? Muslims? Liberals? RINOs? Conservatives? How might God be calling you to break down the boundaries and labels you’ve created in order to experience and demonstrate God’s inclusive love?
Return to the Gospel of Luke overview page