THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS ON YOU! 042616

 

Jesus Preaches in the Synagogue           In Luke 4:14-21; Luke says, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ [Isaiah 61:1-2] Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ ”

First let me say that this story is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.  At the beginning of His ministry he spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and then being tempted by the devil.  And immediately after that is where this passage comes, in the Gospel of Luke.  When He returned to Galilee, He returned from the wilderness, ‘in the Power of the Spirit’.  He spent a little time in the neighboring villages teaching, and then He went back to his home town, Nazareth, where He had spent the first 30 years of his life being a child and then a carpenter.  So this occasion was His ‘coming out’ statement before the ‘hometown crowd’.

And what did He say?  He said “God’s Spirit is on Me.  He has anointed Me.”  (You remember about anointed; that’s the evidence of gift of the Holy Spirit usually given to kings and judges, prophets and priests) (not usually to lowly carpenters with no education, no ordination, no special treatment from the High Priest or the Pharisees or Sadducees.)  And pretty as you please, Jesus gets up and says, “I’m anointed by the Spirit of the Lord.  This verse from Isaiah is talking about Me.”

One thing that deserves mention about this passage is what Jesus said when He finished reading it.  He said “This passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  In other words, “This passage is talking about Me.  I am the Anointed One.  God sent me.  God’s Spirit is on ME.”  And even though He was telling the truth; the neighbors in his hometown thought, “Well, what an arrogant, blasphemous thing to say!  We ought to kill him for that.”  But Jesus didn’t care, because He came, “In the Power of the Spirit.”

Now what I’m fixin’ to say is liable to make some people think I’m crazier, more arrogant and just as blasphemous as those Nazarene people thought Jesus was.  One day, a number of years ago, during a period when the Lord was really moving in my life, one of the times when I was NOT runnin’ in the bushes, but doing my best to get as close to Jesus as I could get; one day God says, “Since you trust in Jesus, and His Spirit, My Spirit is in you, you too are anointed to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

When He said that, for the first time I understood that God intends to use all of us in that way, if we ‘give plumb up’ daily and follow Him.  I actually got the message of what God’s purpose is for our lives.  That by surrendering to Jesus, the Power of the Holy Spirit is upon us, and we are anointed in the same way, and those verses are fulfilled in us, just like they were fulfilled in Jesus in His ministry on this earth.  Positively amazing revelation.  It was in there all the time; but I just wasn’t paying attention. . . .

So it’s not just Jesus who is anointed to proclaim the Good News, it’s me and you too!  And all we have to do to get the anointing is to deny ourselves, and take up our crosses daily, and follow Him.  Surrender to Him daily and follow Him.  (See Luke 9:23)

This is not just for ordained clergy, preachers, evangelists, popes, and priests; it’s all of US, who surrender to [trust in] Jesus as Lord of their lives.  “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may proclaim the glorious deeds of the One who called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) That’s YOU! (and me)  That verse has ‘anointed’ written all over it.  The KJV, for ‘God’s special possession’, says ‘His peculiar people’.  You bet.  That’s me.  Glad to be here.  from Out o’th’ Bushes, © 2016 by Tex Tonroy.

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