2/24 Luke 4:18-19

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Jesus was in His hometown synagogue and was invited to read the prophet portion of scripture and comment on it. In a niche of the synagogue were stored the scroll of Moses, scrolls of the prophets, and scrolls of the writings. Each of these portions of scripture had an assigned portion to be read every Sabbath. The scrolls were not rolled back to the beginning but left where they were read from last. "Unrolling the scroll" simply means rolling back each side to the place last read.

By the providence of God, the passage Jesus was to read that day was about Himself, only He didn't finish the text. The Isaiah passage goes on to say, "and the day of vengeance of our God" (Isaiah 61:2b). That day will come, but when Jesus read, it was the year of the Lord's favor. Then He shocked those in attendance by saying the words He read were fulfilled that very day. Jesus was and is the Anointed One, the Christ. He was and is bringing good news to the physically and spiritually poor. He was and is proclaiming freedom from the captivity of sin. He was and is not only restoring physical sight, but spiritual sight as well. He was and is setting us free from the oppression of our sinful nature. It was and is indeed the year of the Lord's favor!

Those listening thought it was wonderful until Jesus continued by telling them that they would not receive Him and that God would send the message to the Gentiles. Then they tried to kill Him.

Consider: When presented with the Word of God and confronted by His Spirit, we can repent and receive the truth and be changed or we can resist and get angry about the message. Sometimes we wonder about the animosity toward Christianity, when every other religion is given a free pass for the strange and even destructive things they teach. It is because the heart of man has been confronted and given the opportunity to change but the hearers resist. God help us to always welcome the Word that confronts us.