January 7, 2021
Jesus stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:14-22)
There are times when I read a Gospel passage that I wish I could have been there. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in the synagogue in Nazareth the day Jesus was handed that scroll. He opened the scroll and read a Scripture passage from Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. The Gospel tells us, “the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.”
There was electricity in the air. Something big was happening. Then Jesus said, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
He basically told them, “What I just read is about me. It is happening right now. Christ is among you right now.”
Can you imagine what must have been going through the minds of the people in the synagogue that day? This man grew up right here in Nazareth. He’s the man we’ve had our eye on because of all the odd things he has been doing – eating with sinners and tax collectors, healing on the Sabbath. This man is telling us He is the Christ. I’m sure there was a whole range of thoughts and emotions coursing through the synagogue:
Fear – What if what he is saying is true? I have been waiting and preparing, but am I ready to meet Christ today?
Doubt – How can this be? I was expecting God’s anointed one to ride in on a white horse, a king to save his people, not this simple preacher.
For some it may have been joy. Finally he has come! Praise God!
Jesus said, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled.”
The word “today” is a powerful word. “Today” means there is no more time left, no more waiting.
It’s here. It’s now.