130127 Luke 4:14-21

Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Luke 4:14 – 21
Theme: "HAIL TO THE LORD'S ANOINTED!"

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

It was a couple of weeks ago that we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus. At that time we talked about the fact Jesus Christ is our Anointed Lord and our only Savior from sin. Throughout the time period of the Old Testament, God's Chosen People looked forward to the coming of the "Messiah." In the New Testament the Messiah is called "Christ". Both these names for Jesus, "Messiah" and "Christ" tell us that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, is the Anointed One. He is the One chosen to carry out the plan to save mankind. So we raise our voices today in song and praise saying in the words of the hymn we just sang: "Hail to the Lord's Anointed"!

This section of God's Word before us this morning from Luke chapter 4 begins this way, "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him." Luke tells us that Jesus was filled with "the power of the Spirit". The same Holy Spirit who came to Jesus in the form of a dove at his Baptism, the same Holy Spirit who was with Jesus in the desert as he resisted the temptations of the devil, that same Spirit continues to be with Jesus. Luke also tells us that news about Jesus is spreading. Word is getting out about the teaching, the preaching and the miracles of Jesus.

The Gospel writer Luke records for us that the Savior "went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read." Perhaps there were many in his hometown of Nazareth who knew him only as "Jesus", their neighbor, their friend, the son of Mary and Joseph. But the Anointed, Chosen One had some better news to share with them. So, we are told, Jesus stood up to read and comment on God's Word. Luke reports that the section of the Scriptures that Jesus read and commented on was from the prophet Isaiah. The Savior read these words from chapter 61 of Isaiah's prophecy: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." In the days of Isaiah, these words offered great peace, comfort and hope to the people living in exile in Babylon. The loving and merciful God assured them that their time of living in captivity would soon come to an end. However, God's people would enjoy even greater peace and comfort through the anointed, chosen Savior. It is the Messiah, the Christ, who would free people from their spiritual captivity. How do we know that what Isaiah wrote hundreds of years earlier applies to Jesus? Because the Savior himself says, '"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'"

The calendar of the Christian Church Year can be divided into two halves. There is the first half of the year when our main focus is on Jesus, his ministry and what our Savior did to win for you and me the forgiveness of our sins. Then, in the second half of the Church Year we focus in on our response to this wonderful Good News of our forgiveness. So, what are we able to take home for ourselves from this portion of God's Word? Some might point to verse 16, and say that just as Jesus was in God's house on a regular basis so should we. While this is true and taught in God's Word, it is not the main point being made here in Luke chapter 4. Some might point to verse 17 and say that all preaching in the Church is to be done based on the Word of God, just like Jesus did. While this is God-pleasing and something I pray we do here each week, this is not the main point of these verses either. The main point being made for us this morning here in Luke chapter 4 is that you and I are able to be 100% certain that we have a Savior in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. As the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, Jesus was chosen to carry out the plan to save mankind from their sins; to save you and me from the guilt of our sins. As the Anointed One, Jesus Christ proclaims the Good News of full and free forgiveness of all sins through his perfect life and his innocent suffering and death. The Good News of the Anointed One is that we are now rich in God's grace. We are free from the control of sin and evil in our lives. The light of the Gospel message shines brightly in our hearts, and assures you and me that we enjoy the Lord's favor. As we just sang about our Anointed Savior in our hymn:

He comes with rescue speedy, to those who suffer wrong.
To help the poor and needy and bid the weak be strong.
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light
Whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in his sight.

Most of you, if not all of you, know next weekend the "Super Bowl" will be played. It is a day when the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will play for the championship of the National Football League. Only one team will be able to carry with them into the next year the name of "Super Bowl Champions". But eventually, another team will take their place, and they will be able to call themselves "Super Bowl Champions". The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only one who is and who ever will be called the "Anointed One". It is a title that has far more importance than a Super Bowl Champion. It is a title that will never be taken away from him. It is a title that proclaims the Good News of the Gospel: that God the Father's one and only Son, Jesus Christ, was chosen to come to this earth to win the forgiveness of all sins. Because of our Anointed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and because of him alone, you and I enjoy that wonderful gift of forgiveness. As our hearts fill with joy at this wonderful Good News, you and I can't help but sing out: "Hail to the Lord's Anointed". Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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