This passage from Luke is to me one the most important passages in the New Testament. Here we find Jesus' purpose statement taken right from the prophets. Within this quote from Isaiah we find what it is Jesus is going to be about, good news to the poor, release to the captive and year of the Lord's favor. This would include physically, emotionally, and spiritually poor and captive. Now years after this proclamation we can know Jesus is at work when these things are happening. If they are not we as the church are not fulfilling the purpose of Jesus.
While the end of chapter 5 has been used for great harm, the beginning of chapter 6 has been used for even greater harm. During slavery in the United States slave owners would have preachers come to the plantations and preach this passage without all the other information around it. The result was having the slaves to feel like if they were to rebel, they would be rebelling against God not only their master. Most slaves could not read, and therefore had to take the words of the preacher. While this passages reminds us of obedience, it also reminds us that we are all slaves to Christ. It is not human to human that true obedience is measured, it is in our relationship to God. I wonder how this passages plays with the Luke passage from above? Might be fun to let your mind run a little.
The psalm writer continues to remind the reader or hearer, of the importance of remaining connected to the words of God. We cannot remain faithful to God if we do not become familiar and understand the words of God, and they are found in our Scriptures. As James will later remind us, hearing and learning are not the goal, living is the true measure of the knowledge of God.
1 Kings 19 and 20
Silly Elijah, he thinks he is the only one left who is willing to fight for God. Anyone who has entered into the service of God has felt this way at some point. When the question, "Does anyone else get this?" shows up on our lips we are at that point. I cannot imagine how alone and scared Elijah felt in those moments. Not to mention the huge responsibility to speak for God. Next God takes Elijah on a journey, literally, to respond to his cry. The end result is God reminding Elijah who is in charge and who has the plan. Our tendency is to only see what is right in front of us, and what our present circumstance is. When we begin to take a God's-eye view we see there is more going on than we can possibly engage.
Lord God help me today to be an agent of your Good News. Let the poor feel embraced, the captive free and all experience the year of the Lord's favor. Shape and mold me into the person you long for me to be. Give me a God-sized vision and a vision that is from your view. In Jesus Name, Amen