My Honey and I are happy to be students again at Soar - a school for spiritual transformation. After taking a year off, it's nice to be back in Community and pressing in to more of God together! Among other kinds of homework, one of the things that we are assigned to read is Scripture. (I know, right? Just kidding - it's a great thing!) So we are all reading the same portions of Scripture but this year - it is not large sections at a time... but smaller chunks to really meditate on and spend time in... rolling the words over in our mouths, tasting and seeing... and recently - it was yet another very familiar portion of the Bible that caused me to catch my breath and ponder my everyday life and how I want to make Jesus famous... but stay true to His non-Rockstar tendencies; how the same Spirit that came upon Him, resides within me and oh my Lord I want to remember this in my everyday ways!
The verses are found in Luke, chapter 4... with Jesus going to the synagogue. (vs 14-22)
"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,And recovery of sight to the blind,To set free those who are oppressed,To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
Luke 4:14-22 NASB
The first thing that really stood out to me is the 'as was His custom' in verse 16. It was the 'norm' for Him to go to church on the Sabbath. He didn't necessarily cause a stir or gather a crowd with His arrival there. He was no Rockstar Jesus in Nazareth. Jesus was and is truly 'All That' and yet He does not act like one who demands to be worshipped... because, while that is what He desires your choice to be... He will never force it! He comes in... He does what the Father tells Him to do... He proclaims, He heals, He preaches, He fulfills prophecy... and He does it all because He is anointed... because He is love!
So He shows up and stands up and is handed the scroll. Do we really think it was a coincidence that THAT Scroll was the one that was being read, on THAT day... that they just so happened to be reading in Isaiah and left off just before these verses? He knew... oh, it was no coincidence for Him. He knew He would be fulfilling it before He unrolled it!
He didn't finish reading the whole prophesy... He highlighted the part that was fulfilled - the things that He was doing then and there. So if He came and did those things already - if He came and preached to the poor and proclaimed release to the captives and brought healing and freedom to the oppressed - if this is the favorable year of the LORD right here and now, do I live like this is true?
Do I talk like it? Do I expect it to be true and really believe it? Or am I like those in verse 22 - speaking well of Him and amazed by His words, but allowing doubt or familiarity with Christ or Christianity to water down the truth and lessen our anticipation? I don't know about you - but I want some of that childlike faith... some of that Christmas-time excitement to rise up again! I want to remember that I believe in miracles!
The second thing that impacted me while slowly savoring this? It's the "Because" that captured me most:
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon me because He has anointed me... (to preach the gospel, to proclaim liberty...)
The Spirit of the LORD has a purpose for showing up "upon" someone and the Good News is not only does He still come UPON us, but now that Jesus has gone to His Father, the Spirit also resides within us...
...and I bet His purpose is still the same!
May He show up and stand up and speak through you today! May His Spirit that resides within you, come upon you and anoint you... may you be able to proclaim that this is God's year to act! This year... this day... it's not too late!
This is Advent and He is coming... He is here!
I am linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
and with Lyli Dunbar for #ThoughtProvokingThursday