Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how Jesus was a teacher, and much more.
Very early in his public ministry of teaching about the Kingdom of God, Jesus returned to his hometown.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and 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 proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and 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.” (Luke 4:14-21 ESV)
So, Jesus was invited to speak at the Synagogue, the Jewish space in every town for teaching and learning about the scriptures – what we know as the Old Testament.
This wasn’t unusual, any Jewish male could ask permission from the Synagogue leader to read aloud and comment on the scriptures.
Jesus chose a classic passage from the Book of Isaiah. It would have been well known and well loved. Many in Jesus’ time would have interpreted it in a particular way, as well, believing the passage was describing a figure called the Messiah. The Messiah, or Christ, was a figure described throughout the Old Testament. He would be a king – anointed with oil – which was how kings were made in Israel. There were all kinds of prophecies about what he would say and do, and on top of that people had laid all kinds of hopes and dreams.
In this particular passage, the focus is on the Messiah as a liberator of captives, a healer of the blind, and proclaimer of God’s favour. All very good news! Especially since the Jews were captives in their own land – having been occupied by the oppressive Roman Empire. Everyone wanted to know when and how this Messiah would come!
Everyone was waiting for him to teach. Maybe he already had a reputation as a keen student of the Bible – we have already seen him spending time astounding the teachers at the temple at twelve years old. 18 years later, he’s probably known in his hometown for that much more. What will he say? What does he know about when the Messiah is coming, and what he’ll do?
What Jesus says is simply, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
What does he mean by that?
Question: What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”?