January 24, 2016

“The Manifesto of Christ”

Passage: Luke 4:14-21

Luke 4:14-21: Audacious! What else can be said. Did Jesus miss Isaiah's meaning in this prophecy? Jesus did deviate from Isaiah's words and then totally omitted the second part of proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God. Certainly the Messiah was coming to liberate the captive Israel while wreaking vengeance on their captors. But now, Luke presents a spirit-filled Christ who comes proposing liberty and justice for all of God's creation, beginning with the poor, God's favored ones. N.T. Wright says it wasn't Jesus' eloquence that astonished the people, but instead that he preached a message of grace, wonderful grace, abundant grace that the day of the Lord's favor had come upon all the nations (this, too, is a prophecy of Isaiah). For some of us, this is tough to understand, contrary to our understanding that God blesses the one "who has his own." God's word comes to us bringing new life and hope, yet in our understanding there can be great consequence. The day of God's favor is upon us?