“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Luke 4:18-19
These are the words that Jesus read in his home synagogue in Nazareth. They came from the prophecy of Isaiah and Jesus read them from a scroll during the sabbath service. So far so good. But he didn’t stop there. Having handed back the scroll to the attendant, he informed the congregation that the scripture they had just heard had been fulfilled that very day.
Everyone spoke well of him, but they were amazed that that these words should come from the mouth of Joseph’s son, a mere local lad. Jesus then went on to speak of how, in the time of Elisha, many people in Israel had leprosy but only Naaman, a Syrian, was healed. The congregation did not appreciate Jesus pointing out how God had blessed a non- Jew, and they mobbed him, forcing him to the edge of a nearby hill.
Jesus’ ministry brought good news to people, and these verses remind us that it took many forms. Jesus was a preacher, but also a healer, and he came to set people free from many types of oppression. On the face of it, you would expect people to be thrilled to receive this good news, but they weren’t. They wanted to make sure that God’s blessings stayed with the Jews – and any suggestion that other people could be blessed was too much for them.
Our world today desperately needs the good news that Jesus came to bring. The people we meet all need to know his forgiveness, healing and liberty. Let’s take every opportunity we have to speak of Jesus, and I encourage you to also pray for Premier, which will have contact with hundreds of thousands of people today. Pray that they will each discover what this amazing good news means for them.
Think of someone who you know who is not a Christian. In what way would the good news be good for them?
Lord Jesus, help me to become increasingly determined to share your good news with others. Amen