READ : Luke 4:16-30
The fact that Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue would not have struck those present as unusual. What was remarkable were his next words: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21b, rsv). Jesus, a young man familiar to all of them, was claiming that the Spirit of the Lord was going to work in a unique way through him to bring about the conditions Isaiah foretold. The reaction of the people from his hometown was to attempt to throw him off the top of a hill.
The apostles in Jesus’ day, the early Christians in the Book of Acts, and pastors and lay people today all testify that when they lay hands on the sick they experience the power of the Spirit flowing through them. They testify that the Spirit of the Lord liberates the oppressed.
Yes, there are always skeptics. Jesus did tell his disciples to shake the dust off their shoes in contempt for those places that refused to believe. But the Holy Spirit worked through Jesus and still works through his people today to help the poor, the captives, the blind and the lost. This is good news indeed!
Empower us, Holy Spirit, to continue the saving work of Jesus. In his name. Amen.