Thursday – March 8, 2018 – Jesus’ Holy Spirit Ministry Fulfilled Scripture.
Luke 4:16-21 (NIV) He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
We know that Jesus was fully God, but at the same time, we know that He gave up equality with God for a season. Read Philippians 2:6-8. He no longer continued to grasp equality with God, and thus He relied on the Holy Spirit to empower Him to do everything that He did. His first impression on the people was very positive. All who heard Him were amazed at His gracious words. However, Jesus knew what was in their hearts and essentially told them that they would reject Him. Read Luke 4:22-30. They would expect Him to perform miracles and to grant their every wish. They felt that as Israelites, they were entitled to the good things of God. Jesus knew that wasn’t true. Jesus did not want them to think that He was introducing a new concept to them, so He referred to two historic events from Israel’s past. In the first one, He refers to the time of Elijah where there was a famine that lasted three and a half years, and during that time, God sent Elijah to only one widow to meet her needs. Even though there were many Israelite widows, God did not send His provision to them. He sent His provision to only one widow and she was a Gentile.
The second story was similar. Jesus pointed out that Israel had many lepers during the time of Elisha, but God healed only one, Naaman, the Syrian general, also a Gentile. The Israelites are chosen by God, but still not entitled to His grace. Grace only comes to those who recognize that God owes them nothing and comes to those who know that they do not deserve it and are not entitled to it.
We are ambassadors of Christ and many times are received the same way that Jesus was. Even though we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, not everyone will receive the message of grace the way that it is meant to be received, freely and undeserved.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank You for what You have done and provided, God’s grace, unearned and undeserved. I am not entitled to it, but I receive it gratefully.