Our passage today encompasses a great deal of Jesus’ public ministry. The passage opens “He began teaching in their synagogues” (15).
The first snapshot is Jesus preaching in his local synagogue—this would be like me going home, preaching, and ending with “Oh, by the way, I’m the Messiah you’ve been expecting this whole time…” “Sure,” the people would think, “He was a nice kid and all…but the Messiah?”
“The portion of Scripture Jesus read was Isaiah 61:1–2, a messianic passage. He concluded His reading with the words, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor—stopping in the middle of the verse without reading the next line in Isaiah 61:2 about God’s vengeance. When Jesus added, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing, the implication was clear. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah who could bring the kingdom of God which had been promised for so long—but His First Advent was not His time for judgment. The crowd was fascinated at His teaching—The eyes of everyone … were fastened on Him (Luke 4:20). Jesus’ words plainly stated that the offer of the favorable year of the Lord (i.e., the kingdom time) was being made to them through Him (v. 21).” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
All of the snapshots in this passage assert Jesus’ authority. Some, like the demons, recognized Jesus’ authority (34), others, like in his hometown, did not (24, 29). The note in the quoted commentary is very important, the authority that Jesus was claiming was not yet his right to bring rule, order, and judgment. If he had done so, all would perish in their sin. Rather, Jesus’s authority was to bring redemption from sin, healing, and the long-awaited Jubilee (Lev 25:10).
Per the example of the demons, there is a huge difference between understanding Jesus has authority, and submitting to it. What is one tangible way you can submit to Jesus’ rule and reign today? What is one way that you can expand his kingdom and lead someone else to the freedom of Jubilee that you’ve experienced?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate