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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#853. The Spirit of the Lord is on me (11/7/23)

Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional as we continue with our series, ‘Luke - Exploring who Jesus is.’ This week, our devotionals are based on Luke 4:14-30. Today’s devotional is entitled, The Spirit of the Lord is on me.


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‘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 favour.”’ (Luke 4:14-19)

Lesson: When the Spirit of God fills a person or a church, the gospel is proclaimed, and people discover true riches, freedom, vision, and hope in Christ.


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Jesus' message in this chapter unveils the essence of His ministry and sets the ongoing trajectory for the ministry of the church. The church is called to resemble Christ as He ministered in the power of the Spirit. To effectively serve Jesus in this world, we must be able to declare, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." Each of us, individually, and the church as a whole, need to pray and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit continually.


What does a Spirit-filled life and church look like? One crucial aspect is the proclamation of the good news to all those around us. This passage can be misconstrued as a commission for the church to primarily emphasise various forms of social action. While mercy towards the poor is essential, it is not the central idea here. This is about the gospel and its profound spiritual effects. Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1 and 58:6, prophesying about how the Messiah (Christ) would minister to the poor, prisoners or captives, the blind, and the oppressed. Let's briefly explore each aspect:


"Good news to the poor" pertains to God justifying us and granting us Jesus' righteousness, along with all the abundant riches we receive in Him.


"Freedom for prisoners" is the promise that sinful habits and addictions will be replaced with freedom to serve God through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.


"Recovery of sight for the blind" refers to the new vision on life that comes to us with a fresh revelation of God, Christ, and the cross.


"Freedom from oppression" represents the hope of the ultimate restoration of all things in Christ.


"The year of the Lord's favour" encompasses the entire period of the Last Days.


These days were initiated with Jesus' coming and death. The days of favor are the times we are currently in, during which the good news of the gospel and the invitation extends to the entire world before the end arrives.

Jesus is not merely pointing to a future age when "the Kingdom comes," but He was ushering in the Kingdom here and now as He operated in the power of the Spirit. As Manson writes:


"Not in some future age but now is the captive power of sin to be broken, communion with God to be established, and the will of God to be done."

The works of the Kingdom are meant to be carried out by His anointed people in the present moment.


Response

When the Spirit of God fills a person or a church, the gospel is proclaimed, and people discover true riches, freedom, vision, and joy in Christ. Can this be said of us or our church? Are we actively seeking to be filled and led by the Spirit so that we can share this good news of the Lord's favour with everyone around us?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?


3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER


Please read Luke 4:14-30


On Sunday we looked at Luke 4:14-30 where Jesus visits His hometown of Nazareth. On the Sabbath, he goes to the synagogue and reads from the book of Isaiah, proclaiming that this prophecy has been fulfilled in him. He is the promised Messiah who would minister to the poor, prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed.


Initially, the listeners in the synagogue responded positively, speaking well of Jesus and being amazed at His gracious words. They were entertained by His speaking abilities, yet the full impact of His message had not yet struck them. They were impressed by the oratory skills of "Joseph's son" (someone from their own community, not highly educated), but their familiarity with Jesus hindered them from truly receiving Him as they should. As the narrative progresses, we will witness their admiration for His speaking mixed with disrespect toward His person transform into outright hatred for Him and His message as He confronts them with their rejection.


Discussion Questions

  1. What does v.14 tell us about the work of the Holy Spirit in and through a Christian or a church?

  2. What do verses 18-19 tell us about the work that Jesus is doing in this world; and what do these verses tell us about our work in this world?

  3. Familiarity can breed contempt as we see in Jesus’ hometown. Have you grown overfamiliar or do you still have great expectations of what Jesus wants to work in and through us?

  4. SIV - This text is rich in implications for how we do evangelism. How is your Serving, Investing and Inviting going? How can we pray for you about this?

  5. SIV - Pray for one another to be filled with Holy Spirit. Pray that the church will see its mission being carried out under the anointing and power of Holy Spirit.







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