This has been called by many as Jesus’ inauguration speech. He is setting the stage for what his work and ministry will be in the future. He was in the synagogue and reads from the prophet Isaiah about good news preached to the poor and freedom to the prisoners and the recovery of sight to the blind and release of the captives and the year of the Lord’s favor. As the eyes of all were fixed on Jesus, he announced that this Scripture was fulfilled in their hearing of it.
Their eyes were fixed on Jesus but I wonder if they were thinking this was good news for them. I am wondering if we also look at the same reading as good news for today? After all, what do we think about when the idea of the coming of the Lord is talked about? Don’t we think about blessing. The Lord will bless us and the blessing is defined as keeping our positions of power and control in society. We think about wealth. We think about maintaining what is or a possible return to an idealized glory of the past. We think we know what the coming of the Lord will be like but the Lord’s thinking is not always in tune with ours.
The Scripture Jesus read was nothing less than the rebooting of society. The year of the Lord’s favor (Jubilee) was the cancellation of debts and return of even the land to previous owners. The poor and imprisoned are no longer under the boot of the powerful. This is the Lord’s way of bringing blessing to society.
Now those present spoke well of Jesus. In other words they were trying to get on his good side and graces. However, Jesus told of how God’s graces reached out to a poor Gentile widow and Naaman the Syrian, not to Israel. They were enraged and tried to throw Jesus off a nearby cliff to kill him. Jesus didn’t fit with their thinking of blessing.
Jesus announced the start of his ministry by reading from Scripture of the rebooting of society. The rich are brought down with the poor raised up. All debts are cancelled. This is how society will be blessed in his ministry. What do you think about this?