Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. 15He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:/ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,/ because he has anointed me/ to bring glad tidings to the poor./ He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives/ and recovery of sight to the blind,/ to let the oppressed go free,/ and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord./ Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
Unlike Mark and Matthew who situate Jesus’ homecoming in the latter part of his ministry (Mk 6:1-6; Mt 13:54-58), Luke transposes it to the beginning. Jesus’ sermon in the synagogue of Nazareth is programmatic of his entire ministry. Jesus’ teaching is the fulfillment not only of the prophecy of Isaiah but also of the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures. He comes as the fulfillment of the story and hopes of God’s people.
That the time of God’s salvation, the year acceptable to the Lord (i.e., the “Jubilee year”), has come with his presence is expressed by the emphatic “today” – not in some future time. As people respond to Jesus’ message, salvation is at work in them. And so Jesus tells Zacchaeus who promises to share his possession with the poor and repay what he might have extorted, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Lk 19:9). And to the criminal who owns up his crimes and asks to be remembered, Jesus declares, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.