Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Manifesto of the Kingdom
Luke 4: 14 – 23
vs. 18a “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… “
This passage tells us that Jesus is at his home town, Nazareth. It was his custom to attend the synagogue on every Sabbath. Jesus was asked to read from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He purposefully selected the portion and concluded with the saying, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” These words make the passage more meaningful and it creates different responses from the congregation.
The reading starts with the announcement that the spirit of the Lord is upon him. The movement of the spirit in the Gospel of Luke is evident. It starts with the annunciation to Mary and continues throughout the gospel. Jesus was anointed with the spirit at the time of His baptism at the River Jordan and a voice from heaven declared: “You are my son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased,” and with the same spirit He moved to the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan and He conquered Satan. By the words, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,’ Luke tries to communicate the identity of Jesus in both prophetic and messianic terms. With the same spirit he came down to the Synagogue and there he revealed the purpose of his anointing and coming.
Good news to the poor: Jesus became the Good News to the poor by choosing to become a part of a poor family at Nazareth. In His ministry, Jesus had a preference for the poor. His association with them and the teaching about wealth and its use, testify to it. By observing the life of Jesus, Paul says: “… though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor…” Bringing good news means becoming poor for our sake. Luther expresses the thought memorably: “He has come to earth as the poor that he might have compassion for us, to make us rich in heaven and like his beloved angels.”
Release to the captives: Alan Culpepper says: “Jesus released the persons from various forms of bondage and oppression: economic (the poor), physical (the lame, the crippled) political (the condemned) and demonic.” Moreover, forgiveness of sin cannot be given by anybody else other than Jesus. For our redemption, he has paid the price on the cross - his life.
Jubilee year: The Bible says that the whole of creation belongs to God. But human beings have made all kinds of disparity and divisions. The vision of jubilee is a world without debt, a world without slavery and a world in which all people are living in their own inheritance and home. It is the vision that Jesus declares at Nazareth.
O Lord, give us your spirit that we may work for the enhancement of your Kingdom.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God integrates all of His creations but humans disintegrate the work of God.
Rev. Vinoy Daniel
Mar Thoma Episcopal Jubilee Institute of Evangelism, Thiruvalla
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church