Reading : Luke 4:14-30
Ours is an age marked by cynicism. When Politicians stand and make promises to us we seldom believe them. Opposition parties make bold promises until they get into power and then we all watch to see what they actually do.
In Luke 4 Jesus starts his public ministry by reading from the scroll of Isaiah. Luke 4:18-19
This is like his election manifesto, or his vision statement. Apparently it was acceptable to pick and choose what you read because he reads from Isaiah 58:6 and Isaiah 61:1-2.
(for extra homework read Isaiah 61. Leviticus 25 talks about a year of Jubilee. Did the Jews ever do this ? When ? or why didn’t they ?)
When have your heard a politician make promises ? What is your response ? Who is this good news for ? The have-nots or the have-it-alls ?
The practise of the time was that people would explain what they had read after sitting down. When Jesus sits down he simply says that the timeframe for this happening isn’t after a year of office but now.
People are both astonished at his words of grace and skeptical. After all they are being ruled by a foreign oppressor. It was common to look forward to when the Messiah would sort things out. But now ?
Jesus then quotes a proverb (Luke 4:22) which pretty much suggests that he knows everyone is thinking, “Yeah right”, just many of us would. This sets up a question for all of us : what next ? Will Jesus do what he said, or will it be a case of “Do as I say, not as I do ?”.
This is pretty much the background question for all those who seek to follow Jesus. Are we living it, or simply saying it ? This is further driven home by Jesus reminding people that this is not a theory. When he references the storys from 1 Kings 17:7-24 and 2 Kings 5:1-6 he is reminding them that it always comes down to individual peoples responses.
Just as Jesus has to answer the question “Will do you what you say”, so do we. Each of us in different ways.
What does it look like to live this way in today’s culture ?
In the non-online notes we reference a chapter from Sam Chans’ Evangelism in a skeptical world.