What Jesus Did! 'When It Was Fulfilled!' — Luke 4:16-21

Saturday, February 25, 2023

When [Jesus] came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!"

— Luke 4:16-21 NLT

Key Thought

I can't think of a more powerful moment for a synagogue worshiper! The scroll is unrolled. The Scripture is read. Then, with breathless wonder, the words are heard: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, ..." and "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!" Luke wants us to know that Jesus' ministry is Spirit-anointed, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered, and Spirit-fulfilled. Jesus' actions are connected to God and to the Old Testament promises by the Holy Spirit. Because of the work of the Spirit, deliverance will come at the hands of this Jesus who ministers to outcasts. His ministry is no accident; it was prophesied by the Spirit. So what's there to learn for us in this? Ministry must be led by the Spirit and be consistent with the promises of Scripture and the example of the Savior. Clearly, in Jesus' case, that requirement means ministry is about deliverance, grace, and reaching outcasts. How does our ministry compare?

Today's Prayer

Father, I know that you have placed your Holy Spirit within me and within your church. Yet, Father, we so often block the Spirit's leadership and ignore the Spirit's opportunities. Not only forgive us, dear Father, but ignite in us a holy passion to be your servants to the lost, defeated, broken, and forgotten as your Spirit equips, empowers, and guides us into the areas of ministry you want us to do. Please fulfill this old Scripture again, today, in us so that the Spirit will always be upon us and we will serve as Jesus did. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
  • John 20:19-23


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Illustration of Luke 4:16-21 NLT — "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.