Good evening, it’s good to be preaching again from God’s Word.
So tonight, our Gospel reading retells the story of Jesus’ visit to the synagogue in Nazareth, his home town. Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah and then instructs the people on its meaning. At first, the people in the synagogue respond to Jesus in wonderment, but as we will see in next week’s readings, this wonderment quickly turn to rejection.
Now, when I preached two weeks ago, I mentioned that the Season of Epiphany is a time when something significant is revealed about Jesus, usually something that points beyond his humanity to his divinity, his identity as God Himself.
To recap our readings - at his baptism, Jesus’ divine and messianic identity is revealed. At the Wedding at Cana, Jesus’ divine identity is showcased as we witness His miracle of turning water into wine. And at the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus’ messianic identity is fleshed out - not only does Luke remind us that Jesus is the Messiah, but he gives us a sense of what the Messianic tasks at hand will be.
So let’s look back at the passage for a moment in our inserts and see how Luke does this.