Today’s faithful daily read is Luke 4:14-20 and Isaiah 61:1-4.
These are some of my favourite verses of scripture and as we pause to reflect on the year of 2013, stepping into 2014 we do well to pause and reflect on the events and prophecy outlined here as Jesus steps into his earthly ministry.
Luke has set the scene for this momentous occasion, taking us through Jesus birth, his childhood, his baptism, his genealogy and most recently his temptation in the opening paragraphs of chapter 4. His deity has been confirmed in his birth, baptism and temptation – Luke leaves us in no doubt that Jesus is the son of God. Reports are circulating and people are talking about Jesus, word is spreading… We are told repeatedly that Jesus was ‘full of’ and ‘in the power of’ the Spirit as he turns up to church in his home town on the Sabbath. He stands up to read scripture and what is provided for him to read? Isaiah. Jesus turns to Isaiah 61, a prophecy regarding the coming messiah, written 800 years before Jesus was born. He proclaims words of salvation from Isaiah’s prophecy to those gathered at the synagogue and then sits down to teach. I bet you could have
Here we have the unfolding plan of God’s salvation, coming to fulfilment in Jesus. The year of the Lord’s favour in the purest sense. What an unveiling, what a magnificent insight to God’s rescue plan for us!
Tomorrow, we will read that the Nazarene’s missed it. Choosing to reject Jesus divinity and claim over their lives. How could this happen to God’s anointed? Sadly, it happens time and time again culminating in Jesus crucifixion and yet this too is part of God’s unfolding plan of salvation. It is this news that is the good news – God doesn’t leave us captive to our sin and brokenness. He provides the way out and it is only found in the true messiah, Jesus!
Tomorrow too we will start a New Year. How will you respond to Jesus, revealed as God and saviour, as this year closes out?
As I reflect on 2013 and prepare for 2014, I will
– Be thankful for God’s graciousness to me in Christ – knowing that he has sustained me throughout this year
– Repent of my sin – knowing that Christ dealt with it on the cross and forgiveness is found in him alone
– Look forward to the ultimate hope and fulfilment of God’s salvation in the return of our king when ‘he will wipe every tear from our eye’
May our lives (not just our New Year) be marked with the truly great news of Christ!