Luke 4:14-21 (ESV)
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus traveled from the wilderness back to Galilee and finally to Nazareth where he was brought up. He did what he usually did: he went to the local synagogue on the Sabbath. While teaching there, Jesus selected a particular Old Testament text from Isaiah and read it aloud, as was the custom. Those who were students of the Prophets knew this particular passage ultimately described the work of the Messiah. They were curious. Some may have even started to wonder, “What is he going to say about these words from Isaiah?” Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue attendant, and sat down to continue teaching. All eyes were fixed on Jesus now (v. 20). The word translated “fixed” is from a Greek word, which meaning “look intently at” or “stare at.” Everyone present anticipated the next words of Jesus. What would come from his mouth? Then Jesus clearly stated, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus boldly and truthfully declared to the people he grew up with, “For all those who have been waiting for deliverance from God, it’s now the time, and it is found in me.” Can you imagine what the people of Nazareth must have thought? Found in you? Jesus? We imagined someone very different for our Messiah. What was Jesus thinking?
When Jesus set out to tell those in his hometown he was their promised Deliverer, he read from Isaiah. How interesting to consider that Jesus could have used whatever means he wanted to reveal his identity to those he grew up with, but he made the choice to use Scripture. He wanted them to ponder what God said long before about their promised Messiah. We still need to know what God has declared about important topics. We can forget that we have a written record of what God thinks about all sorts of things preserved in a book known as the Bible. In fact, the Bible is the resource we use to discover the mind and will of God, and it’s the tool we use to show others their Creator and their Savior. Make sure you are spending time in God’s word on a daily basis. It is through our consistent time in the Scripture that we become healthy spiritually and ready to undertake whatever God may set before us.