Jesus inaugurates his public ministry in the power of the Spirit. The words of the prophet Isaiah (61:1) reveal that Jesus is the anointed one, the Messiah, with the mission to “bring glad tidings to the poor… to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind… to let the oppressed go free”—all saving works of the Lord. Luke has a special heart and preferential option for the poor, and he hints at a total liberation from all forms of bondage, both personal and societal.
Although Jesus begins preaching in his hometown Nazareth with the Spirit of the Lord, he is met with a negative response, which prompts him to say, “No prophet is accepted in his own native place” (Lk 4:24). But God can turn this rejection into good—their incredulity will open the way for the pagans’ acceptance of the good news.
The power of the Holy Spirit cannot be chained. The Holy Spirit prepares the human heart to receive the Word of the Lord. Effective preaching of God’s Word requires understanding the role and power of the Holy Spirit. For only the Holy Spirit can change the heart and transform a person’s life.
Gospel • LUKE 4:14-22
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 17and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: 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.
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