Today This Scripture Is Fulfilled
Immediately upon His return from His time of testing and temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth—where He had been raised—and stood up to read from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. People gathered to hear Him because news about the power of His teaching had spread. But on this day, He didn’t simply teach, He revealed Himself. He read a passage from the Jewish Scriptures, a passage devoted Jews had been repeating and praying for hundreds of years, holding out hope that it would some day come true. And then He said, effectively, “this passage you all have memorized and placed your hope in is about me. In me, it has been fulfilled.”
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“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.”
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. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
As much as you are able, allow yourself, by your imagination, to enter this scene in which Jesus declares His identity to His hometown. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel about Jesus as He stands confidently and declares: “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”? What do you notice about the reaction of the crowd? How do you think they were feeling?
God, this is such good news! Thank You that after reading and reflecting on Jesus’ words in this passage, there can be no doubt about who He is and what He came to do. Fill me with the awe and wonder that those in the synagogue that day must have felt as Jesus spoke. And open my eyes to the ways in which Jesus continues to proclaim good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for prisoners, give sight to the blind, and set the oppressed free. May I join in this work with Him! Amen.
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