Jesus traveled to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue like he always did. Jesus stood up to read. The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. Jesus opened the book and found the place where this is written: "The Spirit of the Lord (God) has come to me. God chose me to tell good news to people that are poor. God sent me to tell people who are prisoners that they are free, and to tell the blind people that they can see again. God sent me to free the weak people from their suffering and to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness." Jesus closed the book. He gave the book back to the helper and sat down. Every person in the synagogue watched Jesus closely. Jesus began to speak to them. He said, "While you heard me reading these words just now, the words were coming true!"
— Luke 4:16-21 NLT
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: "Today this Scripture is fulfilled!" 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. Deliverance will come at the hands of this Jesus who ministers to outcasts because of the work of the Spirit. His ministry is no accident; it was Spirit prophesied. So what's there to learn for us in this? Ministry must be Spirit led and be consistent with the promises of Scripture and the example of the Savior. Clearly in this case, that means it is about deliverance, grace, and reaching outcasts. How does our ministry compare?
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. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
- John 20:19-23
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
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.