Hearing the Way

Last week we were invited to taste, feel, smell, hear and see the abundance of grace brought about by the Word of God dwelling among us. And I suggested we are invited to read John’s gospel in that light; as a story of grace upon grace.

This week we are given Luke 4 where Jesus goes home. AS a pious Jew from this pious community, he goes to synagogue on the Sabbath. And as someone who can read – no ordinary carpenter then – he in invited to read from the prophet Isaiah. Luke gives us an amalgam of Isaiah 61: 1-2 and 58:6. In our reading from Luke 4: 14-21 Jesus reveals who he is, what he is doing, and for whom he comes. And in telling this story Luke is giving us the lens through which we might read both his gospel and the book of Acts.

And it is radical stuff. This is not about improving the lot of the poorest of Israel; this is a turning upside down and inside out of all social structures. It is a re-imagining of society and placing a whole new set of priorities at the heart of that. In doing so Jesus is owning for himself all that was said about him by others around the birth stories, particularly Mary’s great song of protest; and is taking the ancient words of hope represented by these words from Isaiah and claiming that in living these out He, Jesus is living out all that God dreams of desires for all humanity. This is the biblical dream, the divine hope.

·         What does this passage mean for us today?
·         Where do we see it being fulfilled around us and in our lives?
·         What would it look like now if this vision were fulfilled for all people today?
·         How does this shape my life today? 

You can listen to my sermon about this here

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