Luke 4:14-21


Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

   because he has anointed me

     to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

   and recovery of sight to the blind,

     to let the oppressed go free, 

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ 

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’


I am taking a Missions class, and some questions were directed for us (the class) to answer. The passage is an introduction to Jesus' ministry, so what was Jesus' mission? We have to compare it to God's requirements for true fasting in Isaiah 58. Then we were asked to picture what Jesus' ministry would be like in our culture. So I am trying to gather as much information to give a concrete answer.


I think it's helpful to approach this first step in the ministry of Jesus from the perspective of the wilderness experience he has just completed (Luke 4:1-13). Having been awakened to his spiritual Power, symbolized by his baptism by John the Baptist, he spent 40 days being tempted to use his Power to accomplish earthly goals: wealth, fame, and power. But he knows his purpose is in a higher dimension than that, and he simply and quietly returns to Galilee to learn what his ministry is to be. He finds it at Isaiah 61: preach good news to the poor, freedom to the captive, recovery to the blind, and liberty to the oppressed. He may never achieve wealth, fame, or power with this as his purpose, but he will be fulfilling his spiritual Purpose, and that is the greatest possible reward.


Rev. Ed