Luke 4: Part 2 (7)
Pray Psalm 27.1-3.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
Sing Psalm 27.1-3.
(St. Denio: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise)
Lord, You are our Light and our Savior most dear!
You guard us with might; therefore, whom shall we fear?
Though evil surround us, our enemies fall;
no harm shall confound us when on You we call.
Read Luke 4.1-43; meditate on verses 17-21.
1. How does the rest of Luke 4 illustrate verses 17-21?
2. How do we know this passage refers to Jesus?
We said Luke 4 was like the overture to a great musical drama, offering a foretaste of what was to come. What have we seen?
First, Jesus’ mission was above all spiritual. He defeated the devil (vv. 1-13; 33, 34, 36, 41) and was filled with the Spirit of God (vv. 14, 18). But it was also practical in that He did many good works (vv. 38-40) and didactic – He preached and taught the Good News of the Kingdom (vv. 20-27, 31, 32, 44). He generated mixed responses, astonishing many (vv. 32, 36, 37) and irritating not a few (vv. 28, 29). Even His death at the hands of sinners and His resurrection are foreshadowed by the episode in Nazareth where they sought to throw Him off the cliff, yet He escaped. And His work of making disciples is pointed to by His developing relationship with Peter (vv. 38, 39). And He lived in line with a Kingdom vision which guided His overall mission.
All these were developments of what Jesus read and preached from the prophet Isaiah in verses 17-21. What we see in Luke 4 would recur in and characterize all the rest of His ministry. This is why the Father sent Him to earth. He came to inaugurate a regime change which was spiritual in essence but temporal and eternal in its outworking. He was sent to save sinners and make disciples, although He knew such work would surely generate opposition and resistance. He was sent to bring near the Kingdom of God by doing good works to as many as sought Him and fulfilling every Word of God. He lived a visionary life and would endure a horrifying death while meditating on the vision He knew that death would fulfill.
And as the Father sent Jesus to the world, so Jesus sends us, each of us to our Personal Mission Field, day by day (Jn. 20.21).
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and
a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall be upon Him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Is. 11.2).
And all the world benefits from His Presence, for there is no one who is not included in His Personal Mission Field. He will:
1. Preach the gospel to the poor.
2. Heal the brokenhearted.
3. Proclaim liberty to the captives.
4. Give recovery of sight to the blind.
5. Set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Every person who has ever lived fits into at least one of those categories, if not all. And when we know our need, because of our iniquities, transgressions and afflictions, we cry out to Him, and He saves us from ourselves and from our sin and gives us a new life in Jesus. “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them (Jn. 1.1-4) and delivered them from their destructions” (Ps. 107.17-20). We cried; He heard.
And then we became new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5.17).
So, now that we are new creations, we are called like Jesus into our Personal Mission Field to share this very Good News with all who are there. We see the Truth, we know the Truth, and we long for others to know the Way and experience the Life that comes only through the Truth of Jesus (Jn. 14.6).
We are sent by the King to say: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5.20, 21).
Sent like Jesus—to live and die for Him. Boldly. After all, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliot)
1. Why is it important to connect the teaching of the Old Testament with Jesus? How does this help us in reading the Old Testament?
2. What can we learn by observing the details of Jesus’ earthly ministry?
3. Whom will you encourage today in working their Personal Mission Field?
Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of God’s plan and promise in Himself, since He is the figure described in the passage. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note for Luke 4.20
Pray Psalm 27.7-14.
Today, as you go, like Jesus, into the “land of the living” – your Personal Mission Field – ask God to teach you His way and to empower you by His Spirit to bring His goodness to others by words and deeds. Pray for specific people and opportunities before you today as you work to advance the regime change Jesus has inaugurated.
Sing Psalm 27.7-14.
(St. Denio: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise)
Hear, Lord, when we cry and be gracious, we pray!
Lord, do not deny us Your favor this day!
Our help, our salvation, though others may fall,
preserve our good station when on You we call.
Lord, teach us; Lord, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, Lord, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our heart sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.
Wait, wait on the Lord; persevere in His grace.
Hold fast to His Word; seek His radiant face.
Be strong, set your heart to abide in His Word;
His grace He imparts; therefore, wait on the Lord.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.