Bible Verse: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Scripture Reading: Luke 4
How realistic is your picture of yourself?
Does your mental image of yourself, from your physical stature to your character, align with the mirror or how you act? Even in front of the mirror, I’m not sure I see reality. It’s not that I see it and actively dismiss it; I am genuinely not sure I see what others see. And as for character and actions, I know I don’t live up to my ideals.
I’m not suggesting I’m a terrible person. It’s just that I know I don’t always express the character traits I like to think I have. My actions are not as compassionate and gracious as I hope. Far too often, I’m the priest or the Levite passing by the person who needs help (Luke 10:25-37).
It’s one thing to miss my own ideals; it would be something else to announce who I am and then not live up to it.
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus took part in a synagogue service. He took the scroll of Isaiah and read a passage from chapter 61:1-2. In a synagogue service, scripture reading was followed by commentary from the speaker. Jesus’ recorded exposition was (perhaps shockingly) brief: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
There are two equally astonishing parts to this declaration. The first was who Jesus was claiming to be: that He was the one promised by God through the prophet Isaiah to bring about the restoration of Israel. The rest of Luke records Jesus living up to this proclamation. The teaching, the miracles, the obedience to God’s will, and the cross and resurrection are expressions of Jesus being who He claimed to be.
The second shocking part, thoroughly related to the first, concerns the listeners. Jesus claimed to be fulfilling the anticipation of centuries. This prophecy from Isaiah, among many others, is what the people of Israel had been waiting and hoping for. The amazement that Jesus’ claim was met with revealed how deeply the people longed for this moment (v.22).
The evidence would confirm the declaration. Jesus lived out who He claimed to be. He is the one who proclaims freedom and gives sight to the blind. He is the one for whom those who hope wait. He delivers on all His promises.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being who You said You are. Thank You for offering freedom to prisoners and the oppressed and introducing the Lord’s favor. Thank You for bringing the salvation that You provide.
Reflection: Do you long and hope for the day and work of Jesus? What do you do to show that your hope is fulfilled in Him?
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