How Good Is the Good News?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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."
In Luke's gospel, Jesus begins his ministry on a preaching mission. No signs, no wonders, no miracles, nothing spectacular—just sermons. He preached his way through Galilee, eventually arriving back home in Nazareth. Then, as was his custom on the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue. The local rabbi extended him the invitation to preach, and Jesus was handed the scroll containing the reading for the day, which was from the prophet Isaiah. He read and then sat down, assumed the posture of a teacher, and offered one of the briefest sermons of his ministry.
Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
That was it. It is intriguing to note that Jesus did not actually read the entire passage from Isaiah 62:1-2. He left out the last phrase, which reads,... the day of vengeance of our God;How interesting that on that day in the synagogue, Jesus made no mention of the wrath of God. And for that matter, neither did he mention the cross and the irreplaceable role that suffering would play in his ministry. In a nutshell, the first sermon Jesus preached was purely, simply, and entirely good news.
Recently, the driest place on earth, the Atacama Valley of Chile, received an inch of rain. That was more than 14 years' worth of rain in one storm. And the whole valley exploded with color from flower seeds that had lain dormant for more than a decade.
Jesus' words are like rain in the desert. Jesus' good news makes every desert bloom no matter how long it has been parched and lifeless. And in the end, even the wrath of God and the agony of the cross bloom with the good news of God in Jesus Christ.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
Have you ever felt your life become parched and dry? How did the good news of God's Word help you bloom again?
Loving God, let me bloom today in the shower of your good news. When poverty, oppression, and blindness take control, and when wrath appears inevitable and suffering the only way through, let the heavens release their blessing of good news and give glory to your name. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
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 favor."
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."