Judges 1-3 Luke 4:1-30
“The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. (Isaiah 61:1) God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly (Isaiah 58:6) and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” (Isaiah 61:2) (Luke 4:18-19)
In this chapter, Jesus showed the emphasis of His ministry. Satan tempted Jesus to make it spectacular where all eyes would be on Him because of miracles that centered on Him; He tempted Jesus to take shortcuts to gain His kingdom – including one that would grant Him rule over all the kingdom of the world without going through the cross. Jesus rejected those temptations and let Satan know that He would follow God’s plan. As He spoke to the people of His hometown, He made that emphasis clear: He would preach the Good News, He’d free those imprisoned by their own sin or the sins of others, He’d heal as needed, and He’d proclaim the Kingdom of God.
It’s easy to focus on Jesus’s miracles. His hometown folks expected miracles like they’d heard about from other places, but Jesus noted that He wasn’t going to do the same miracles in Nazareth, which caused an uproar. His biblical explanation of why they didn’t deserve miracles didn’t sit too well, and the people sought to kill their (once) favorite son. There are some who would base their ministries on miracles. They invite you to come to their worship arena and witness the miracles that they would perform, er, that God would perform through them. While I believe in miracles, and have seen a few, I don’t believe that any ministry designed to promote Jesus can be successful in God’s eyes than ministries that imitate the way Jesus did things. We must bring freedom to those in bondage – whether it be from their own sin or the sins of others. We must proclaim the good news of Jesus – that God has planned forgiveness of sins for all people through His sacrifice on the cross. We must declare the Kingdom of God where immigration is welcome to all who come under the sponsorship of grace. When we do that, we’ll see miracles. I don’t know what they’ll be, but God seems to do amazing things when His people gather to worship and praise Him.
Lord, remind me how You ministered. Help me to minister to others in the same way. Thank You for enduring the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. Thank You for the grace that allows me to serve You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.