The Mission: Luke 4:16-30

Focus Passage: Luke 4:16-30 (NIrV)

16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue as he usually did. He stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. Jesus unrolled it and found the right place. There it is written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me.
    He has anointed me
    to announce the good news to poor people.
He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners.
    He has sent me so that the blind will see again.
He wants me to set free those who are treated badly.
19     And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free.”

20 Then Jesus rolled up the scroll. He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were staring at him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this passage of Scripture is coming true as you listen.”

22 Everyone said good things about him. They were amazed at the gracious words they heard from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

23 Jesus said, “Here is a saying you will certainly apply to me. ‘Doctor, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me this. ‘Do the things here in your hometown that we heard you did in Capernaum.’ ”

24 “What I’m about to tell you is true,” he continued. “A prophet is not accepted in his hometown. 25 I tell you for sure that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah. And there had been no rain for three and a half years. There wasn’t enough food to eat anywhere in the land. 26 But Elijah was not sent to any of those widows. Instead, he was sent to a widow in Zarephath near Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel who had skin diseases in the days of Elisha the prophet. But not one of them was healed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28 All the people in the synagogue were very angry when they heard that. 29 They got up and ran Jesus out of town. They took him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They planned to throw him off the cliff. 30 But Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Read Luke 4:16-30 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

If Jesus ever shared a summary of His mission on earth, chances are that we would find it somewhere in His ministry, and perhaps we might even find it among the prophecies about Jesus from the Old Testament.

Well, one of the first things Jesus does when He steps onto the scene is draw our attention to this truth. In the gospel of Luke, we read Jesus quoting His mission from a prophecy that is found in the book of Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me.
   He has anointed me
      to announce the good news to poor people.
   He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners.
      He has sent me so that the blind will see again.
   He wants me to set free those who are treated badly.
      And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free.
” (v. 18-19)

In this quotation from the Old Testament, we learn the role of the Messiah that God sent. In this prophecy, we have a clear picture of who Jesus would be while spending time on earth. We can see in these words Jesus’ mission.

This is not a mission that Jesus gave Himself following the temptations in the wilderness, but instead it was given to Him by God, in the form of a 700+ year old prophecy. And Jesus chooses to share this prophecy first in His hometown synagogue. This isn’t because He knows He’ll be accepted or even understood, but probably out of respect for those He grew up with.

It is the same with our lives. We can make up a goal or mission for our lives, or we can lean on God to show us His goal and mission for each of us. God created you and I for a reason and purpose, and because of this, we should seek to find out what His mission for us is and then do it.

This Old Testament prophecy Jesus shared summarizes His earthly ministry, and it is the test we can use regarding whether Jesus was really the One God sent to be our representative and our sacrifice. Only by spending time with God will He help us discover the mission He created us to live!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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