When Jesus Was the Guest Preacher

When Jesus Was the Guest Preacher

The section of the Gospel of Luke to which we give our attention today (Luke 4: 14-21), focuses on Jesus visiting his boyhood home town of Nazareth. Jesus has returned to his boyhood home, filled with the Holy Spirit’s powerful anointing. He had already gained a reputation as an engaging teacher and miracle-worker. He goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath to take part in leading the synagogue service. He is asked to select the passage from the prophets, read it, and offer the sermon. The passage of scripture Jesus read announces the time of God’s salvation for all the world. (Isaiah 61:1-2a NIV)

After Jesus read the Scripture passage, he sat down — which is to say, he moved to the chair of the rabbi, in order to teach. And he gave a one sentence sermon: “Today, this very day, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” That is, Jesus himself was the long-awaited Spirit-anointed Servant of God foretold by Isaiah and the time of God’s jubilee, the era of salvation, the beginning of the new heaven and the new earth, had begun.

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