Third Sunday After Epiphany: The Gospel Passage – The ministry of Jesus begins

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.” (Luke 4:14-15)

Jesus, according to the gospel of Luke, had come from the desert where he had been “ministered to” after resisting the temptation of the the evil one. That accounts, I suppose, why he was filled with the “power of the Spirit.” It should not surprise the reader of this passage that what came next was a pivotal moment in the ministry of Jesus. Even Spirit-filled people have been known to do amazing and astounding things.

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.” (Verses 16 to 20)

I have known that feeling – when you have read a scripture passage and the hearers of it have been caught up in the words and the message. It is a pivotal moment. And in that instant you, the human fallible you, could step forward figuratively and literally, and say just about anything. But the wise scripture reader and worship leader knows to step back, at least figuratively, and let the Spirit do as it will. We who are human and give leadership in worship and at other times welcome the Spirit and in fact depend on the Spirit to guide us. Jesus, being Spirit-filled and Divine had no need to step back but spoke what needed to be said . . .

Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Verse 21)

And all “heaven” broke loose!

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About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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