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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke

PART 3 - JESUS' MINISTRY IN GALILEE (Luke 4:14 - 9:50)

1. Jesus Preaches in Nazareth and is Refused by its People (Luke 4:14-30)

LUKE 4:14-21
14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and news about him spread through all the surrounding area. 15 He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, 19 and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Christ went from the Jordan Valley up to the mountains of Galilee, leaving aside Jerusalem, the capital. He chose Nazareth, his despised hometown, and entered its synagogues where mature teachers interpreted the Torah one to another in small circles. Jesus gained a great reputation as a teacher, though he was not past thirty, for the power of God came out from him and moved the hearts of many.

He went into the synagogue of his town on the Sabbath day, where the scripture appointed to be read that day was from the prophecy of Isaiah (61:1-2). In this passage the prophet gradually explains Christ’s essence and works. When Jesus read that paragraph, everyone in the synagogue gazed at him intently, for they had known him from childhood. They were all expecting a political savior who would liberate the country, not only spiritually, but also socially.

The Son of God saw in this brief prophecy an evident demonstration of his heart, principles, and rights so that he declared with conviction “Today, these promises are fulfilled in truth before you”. He explained the seven characteristics of Christ in this text, not in a political sense, but in relation to God’s salvation, according to the revelation of the Holy Spirit, saying:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me: Since the Spirit of God is God himself, therefore all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in the man Jesus bodily, and the Holy Trinity appeared in him. He received his authority by the anointment of the Spirit, for the name “Christ” signifies the “Anointed”. In ancient times kings and prophets and the high priest were set apart for their work by anointing with the oil of dedication, by God’s order, so that all important offices of the Old Testament might continue as ordained by God. Christ contained in his person all offices, powers, knowledge, and authorities, for the Highest himself spoke and reigned through him. Christ is the true Prophet, the King of Kings, and the High Priest who reconciled us with God by giving his life for us. All these meanings are found in the name of Christ.

Christ did not come to the rich, clever, arrogant, and those who are self-satisfied with their own righteousness, but to the poor, repentant, ignorant, crowds, those who are in greatest need of him, whereas the others are self-sufficient, particularly the pious who think themselves upright. These are the hypocrites in fact. The Son of God did not come to judge or to destroy sinners, but to encourage and comfort, to bring joy and hope to those who believe.

Christ heals the brokenhearted: He healed the sick, and raised the dead; but he knew that the damage and great loss in man comes from his wicked heart. When man loses hope, knows his sin, becomes disturbed about himself, and broken in his pride, Christ shows great mercy toward him. If you confess your failure, Christ will firmly and faithfully lift you, and deliver you.

Christ calls us to believe in the possibility of deliverance from the prison of sin and from the bonds of death. He does not immediately deliver us from this bondage, but he gives us his promise. He demands us to believe his word, and confirms to us deliverance from all involvements and laws, so that we may decide, determine and want to become free, for Christ does not make you a slave, but delivers you and gives you responsibility. Are you prepared to accept Christ’s salvation, and trust your Savior, submitting your will to him?

Christ opens the eyes of those who are blind in body and in spirit: No one could restore sight to the blind except Jesus by the word of his power. Thus he opens our spiritual eyes that are clinging to sin, so that we may see God, our Father. Christ enlightens our deep-black darkness with his shining love, for he is the Light of the World.

Christ sets free those who are downtrodden, for whoever responds to Jesus’ care and healing, gradually develops the attitude of mind which brings true deliverance from the bondage of the devil. When a man is mentally unfit or troubled by an evil spirit of an antichrist religion, his enslaved state comes to an end by virtue of Christ’s deliverance, his heart is set free, and his spirit is joyful, for the Lord is a Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The voice of the love of God in Christ, spoke of the fulfillment of the acceptable year of the Lord. Now we live in the age of grace. God’s wrath has gone away, and his love becomes open to all. It was a requirement in the Old Testament, once every fifty years, that the slaves were set at liberty and relieved, mortgaged properties returned to their original owners, and all the people enjoyed the fruits of the fields equally. In the New Testament, the age of grace comes to deliver us from sin and death, to make us partners in the power and rights of God, and to give us spiritual nourishment by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. As the fiftieth year of the Old Testament began with the great Feast of Atonement, so the age of grace began with Christ’s death on the cross. Did you partake in the acceptable year of the Lord? Is the Spirit of the Lord upon you, because he anointed you?

PRAYER: O Lord, we glorify you because you are true God from true God, anointed with all the fullness of the Holy Spirit. You deliver mankind from the bondage of sin and death. Give us simple faith to accept the fullness of God’s love. Please help us to repent, and respond to your kindness.

QUESTION 38: What is the essence of Christ and his works, which makes souls grow gradually?


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