What is the definition of Incarnation?
Is that like carnation milk?
Miriam Webster Dictionary?
Incarnation- : the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form.
(We teach about a deity as being God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. All are God three entities yet one. (Example comparison -water, steam, ice. All are water H20, yet all different functions. Each can separate, but when put back into the original form, it is still water H20. Jesus glorifies the Father and Holy Spirit Glorifies the Son)
Incarnate – invested with bodily and especially human nature and form.
In the case of Christ Jesus. He is God living in human form.
“The Orthodox View – gives special study to this most accepted Evangelical View.
“This view established in 451 A.D. and it has been the position of the Christian Church. There is one Jesus. He has two natures; the human nature and the divine nature. This means that Jesus while here on earth was 100 % God and 100% man, composed of natural body and a rational soul.” note from – Thiesen’s Systematic Theology
Many people who don’t believe that Jesus is God, ask these questions:
1. Well, how can Jesus be both God and Man?
2. How could he be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
3. Is Jesus all three?
4. Would Jesus death then truly be a sacrifice if Jesus is the same person as the Father?
Answer – Mary was a virgin. Jesus was conceived within her womb by Holy Spirit. Miracle conception. This answers the first part of question:
Matthew chapter 1:18 – “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together. She was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”
- Let us take a look at this in more detail and eliminate these questions once and for all. We must first go back in time. The time, is before Christ was even born into the human form of a baby. His conception was a complete miracle.
- There is a lot of confusion which arises when people ask these kinds of difficult questions.
- Jesus is both 100% God and 100% man. Conceived by Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is also God. Mary was 100 % human. She had no special differences from that of any other women other than the fact that God chose her to give birth and to fulfill Old Testament Scripture that the Messiah would come.
The Sign of Immanuel (which means God with us) prophecy
Old Testament book of Isaiah 7:10-16 “Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as Heaven.” But Ahaz said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (www.biblegateway.com)
(Even in this context, The Bible is saying that Jesus is God. You will see in the New Testament the name Immanuel comes up again that is at the birth of Jesus mentioned in the Book of Matthew.
If you continue to read the following verse Isaiah 7:15-16 note. *These next verses go on to say that he will refuse evil. Meaning he will be without sin.
Again more Old Testament Prophecy – Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. O the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. (Interesting he is called Father and Mighty God)
Before the earthly Birth of Christ, He is known as Pre-incarnate, or before Flesh.
When or how did the Incarnation of Christ happen?
First we must understand what eternal means:
Eternal means past, present and future all at one time. Eternal past, Christ was with God and He was God.
The Word Became Flesh
(John 1:1 ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This was before God created the world. Jesus is speaking here (John 17:5 ESV) – “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (Is this saying that Jesus and the Father can be in the same presence? That is a mystery.
Jesus is also called “the Word” Okay here we go again in (Revelation 19:13 ESV) “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God”.
Notes from Lectures in Systematic Theology (Henry Clarence Thiessen)
“Word is the medium of manifestation, a means of communicating, and a method of revelation.”
(We speak to one another in the same way I am speaking to you today. I am communicating using words. When the bible says that Jesus is the word, it is saying that God has spoken to us in the medium of His Son. (Jesus is the Word) The revelation which means – “an act of revealing or communicating divine truth”. The revelation that “Jesus is the Word” is a divine truth. This theory is in harmony with the interpretation. When John speaks as God being the Logos- Logos also meaning (The Word).
Logos + God = Jesus (Jesus is God)
Jesus is also called the first born of all creation. This does not mean that He was the first born. It means that He (Christ Himself is Messiah and God of all things) Jesus exercises the privilege that everything created belongs to him, as He is Lord of all creation. God made it all through Christ and for Him. He is divinely appointed, heir to all things created. He was there when it all began. Scripture states that nothing came into existence without Him.
This is absolute proof that Jesus is God in the Fullness. Let us dig deeper.
(John 1:3 ESV) – “All things were made through him, and without him was not any- thing made that was made.”
(John 1:10 ESV) – “10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”
Can you imagine? The Creator was put to death by the created. We hung him on a cross and crucified him and beat him and humiliated him like no other. God allowed this to happen. He said, he could lay down his life and take it up again. Not without humiliation and the hurt from the rejection of those he loves.
(1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV) “6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (What is it? Do we exist through the Father or through the Son? We exist through both of them. Why? They are one essence for lack of a better word. They are in perfect unity along with the Holy Spirit. We can conclude from this verse that Father and Jesus are God. Lord and God are equally the same. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit)
All things would include the heavens and the earth and those believers he chose before the foundation of the world was made.
(Ephesians 1:4) “4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (This explains eternal in the past, present and future. God is all knowing and knew us before we were born. I take this to mean that yes he knows what we will do before we do it. But we have a free will to do what is blameless before him.)
He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
(Colossians 1:16) – “16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
The Scriptures represent Christ as the creator, preserver, and goal of creation. An interesting reference in Genesis 1:26) shows that there was a counsel in the Godhead when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our Likeness”.
(Genesis 1:26 ESV) – “26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In the Old Testament the second person of the trinity is never referred to as Christ. He is referred to as Son, Jehovah, and the angel of Jehovah. Note – Genesis 19:24 “The Lord which means (Jehovah) rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from The Lord out of heaven. (Jesus was referred to as Lord in previous scriptures mentioned. The disciples also called “him Lord.
In the Old Testament Christ appears as an angel of The Lord. He appeared to Hagar, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Balaam, Gideon, Manoah and others. Though called the angel of The Lord. Some of these visitations are also called theophanies. From all these scripture references, we learn that Christ had a distinct personal existence during the Old Testament period and that he had definite and repeated dealings with the Israelites.
Lecturer’s note: “Appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ are called “Christophanies”, rather than the appearances of God in some form tangible to human senses, which are called “Theophanies” (e.g.: Gen. 12:7-9; Ex. 24:9-11; Deut. 31:14-15)
Meat for you to chew on. Do some homework.
- How did this happen?
- Why is the incarnation of Christ so important?
- What is the final benefit in the incarnation?
- Who is the character of incarnate Christ?
1. How did this happen?
This is a difficult concept to understand. The Scriptures encourage a consideration of the mystery of God. Jesus himself indicated that a true knowledge of him is possible through divine revelation. Jesus is unique in that there is no other being like him, and so we cannot fully reason from the known to the unknown.
2. Why is the incarnation of Christ so important?
The work of Christ has specific reference to the death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Christ. While it is important to believe and understand the incarnation of Christ, it is most important to understand the supreme importance of the meaning of his death.
- His birth and his death was foretold in the Old Testament
- His death and resurrection is the prominent foundation of Christianity all throughout the New Testament.
3. What is the final benefit in the incarnation?
- It is the chief purpose of the incarnation (There was no other way for atonement other than for God to leave his throne and become the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice. He had to suffer the separation from God the Father.)
- It is Essential to Christianity
- It is essential to our salvation
- It is of supreme interest in regard to eternal life and heaven
4. Who is the character of incarnate Christ?
. He had a human birth, human development and He had the essential elements of human nature. He had human names: Jesus which means Saviour. Old Testament name Joshua – Son of Abraham, Son of David, Son of Man, Messiah which is equivalent to calling him son of God (Luke 22:69). Jesus had the sinless infirmities of human nature. He never sinned. Jesus is repeatedly called man.
. Furthermore, he today exists as a man in heaven (1 Timothy 2:5), will come again (Matthew 16:17, 25:31; 26:64), and will judge the world in righteousness as a man (Acts 17:31)
Matthew 27:45-46 (ESV) “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Now GOD the Father has turned His face from GOD the Son. Up until this point, Jesus has been in perfect union with GOD the Father since the beginning of time. The Christ and the Father both are Alpha and Omega (which means the first and the last) they always have been, always will be. They both claim the title of the great “I Am” (Meaning that they are and always have been).This is why they are GOD.
“My friends, if we could explain where GOD came from then He wouldn’t be GOD, would He? GOD the Father and GOD the Son living in perfect submission to each other and now Jesus hangs on a cross to take upon Himself the sin of the World. And if Jesus has the sin of the world on Him then the wrath of GOD is poured out upon Jesus for our sin. For a brief time, the perfect union between GOD the Father and GOD the Son is broken. The communion is broken. The greatest pain of the death of Jesus was his separation from GOD the Father. The Son was separated from the Father for our sakes. The greatest pain of Christ on the cross was not physical but spiritual. In all of eternity the Father and the Son had been one. In this moment, the Son understood separation from the Father.” Quote – Pastor Bryan Vaughan
Jesus is coming back.
Are you ready?
Now we have heard again and believe in the one true God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If God can make a way where there is no other way to attain salvation and eternal life in Heaven, how much more do we need to realize the love that God has for those He created? He wants none to perish. When He was on the Cross, you were on His mind. Do you want to perish? The Bible speaks of a second death when Satan and those who reject the God the Son (Jesus Christ) will perish in the eternal fire. Like God, he has given us a free will to choose our destiny. Remember God wants none to perish and that is why He went to the ultimate way of atonement. We can take it or leave it, but I choose Jesus. I choose eternal life. I choose to love and follow the righteous one, the incarnate Jesus Christ, the only true God who loves me enough to die for me. Jesus offers this Gift of eternal life and salvation. If you have not received that gracious and merciful gift from God, don’t wait. Tomorrow might not come. He could come before I finish this sentence. Receive Jesus. He is the Gift. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ (Messiah) our Lord. Today is the day for all of us to confess our sin and take hold of that gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering us. Best Christ present ever. Take it and thank God for such mercy (God not giving us what we do deserve – eternal death) and His grace (God giving us what we don’t deserve eternal life). Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness for my sin and I ask you Jesus to be the God of my life? Amen!
English Standard Version Biblegateway.com
Lectures in Systematic Theology
Holiness is a characteristic of God.
What is Holiness?
Wikipedia definition – It is that which sets God apart holy or sacred. Holiness is to be clean or pure. to “be ye holy” a biblical commandment from book of Leviticus 20:7.
Years back I read a book called “In the “Pursuit of Holiness”. I remember when I was reading it that my husband laughed and said that I was one of the Holiest people he knew. He obviously didn’t know what the word holiness meant or at the very most what the bible said about being Holy. Now years later I can look back and see that I still have a long way to go, before I ever achieve such status. It is always good to check ourselves with what the word of God teaches. Last Sunday we were given that challenge. It is a big challenge. I can only speak for myself, but I can imagine that I was not the only one sitting in the Sunday service having my conscience seared with the verses our Pastor reminded us to reread. Conviction hung in the air like a heavy cloud on Sunday morning and I’m sure if we are all honest with ourselves and with God, we could have each taken a turn and stood up and confessed our weakness and our sin. In case you missed the service last Sunday, here is a recap. Before we go through the Sermon notes, let us pray for Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and also empower us to seek change and a closer walk with Christ our Saviour. Amen! I’ll use the first person approach as if relating these questions to me personally and you can do the same.
Do I have a heart of holiness? Good question.
Saved, born again. There are three things that are true.
1. People are dead in sin.
2. We are born children of wrath (devil) until we become children of God.
3. Only faith in Christ can save us.
(Acts 4:12 ESV) “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
(John 14:6 ESV) “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The closer you are to someone the more you become like that person. That is why we should hang out with Jesus. Bad company corrupts good character. We should become more like Jesus. We become Holy because He is Holy. How do I get close to Jesus?
1. Read the Word
2. Spend time with Jesus.
3. Talk to Jesus. Communicate.
4. Don’t ignore Him
5. Be obedient to Him.
6. Seek after Holiness.
What Holiness is not: It is not thinking you are better than others.
The world is watching to see how His Holiness is affecting our lives. They are watching to see what you say when you hit your thumb with a hammer or how you react when someone cuts you off. I like that saying, “when you point one finger at someone, there is usually three other fingers pointing back. People are watching how Christians argue and fight among themselves. Is that shinning His light before men? I don’t think so. Many are religious but not lovers of God, not seeking after holiness. Hitler could be used as an example of someone who made free use of Christian vocabulary. He became a pillar within the government. He told many stories, displayed his tattered bible for people to see. The people welcomed him as a man of God. Many people show an outward appearance of being religious, but inwardly they are not.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (1 Peter 1:14, 15 ESV)
(1 Peter 2:12 ESV) Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
When you are saved, God Holy Spirit transforms you. Do not be conformed to your passions of former ignorance.
(Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
(Colossians 3:5, 6 ESV)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Hebrews 12:14-17 ESV)
1. Strive for peace and holiness or you will not see The Lord.
2. Obtain the grace. Change your the way you live.
3. You may not have holiness and may be rejected and not have an inheritance.
What is wrong with the Church?
We are called to stand out.
(Matthew 5:14, 15 ESV) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Seeing The Lord is being in His presence.
How often do we feel the joy of Jesus in our life?
You can’t stand still as a Christian. If you are not growing than you are standing still.
a. Because our God is Holy we need to be Holy. Be identified as God’s child. Make Him proud.
b. It is not an option.
c. Be separate from the world.
d. Speak, look, walk like the Shepherd.
e. Our world is watching.
(1 Peter 2:12 ESV)”Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
(1 Peter 2:9 ESV) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”
(Colossians 3:2, 3 ESV) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
(1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV) “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
A true test of a dogs loyalty. A dog will go out when you open the door and come back when he gets hungry. A loyal, dog will stay by your side when you open the door.
Point: The true test of loyalty is if you run off in disobedience or if you stay in ear shot of Jesus.
(Colossians 4:5, 6 ESV) “We as believers are ambassadors of Christ Jesus. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV) “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
In my pursuit of God’s Holiness I must draw closer to Jesus. First by recognizing the many truths of instruction on how to achieve such a high calling, I have a part to play; choices to make. Our Pastor gave a wonderful illustration to help us understand what many of us do. We have been going to church services for years and are proud to proclaim our Christianity. In the illustration we have three models. One represents God, one represents the Christian and the third represents the world. God stands on one side, the Christian stands to the right side of God and the world stands on the right side of the Christian. Many times, the world moves farther away from God and the Christian moves with the world rather than closer to God. We justify our behaviour by saying well I’m still closer to God. Yet over time the gap between the Christian and God grows in expanse. We wonder why we can’t hear God as clearly. I could relate to the illustration. It is so easy to think we are playing it safe. After all, I’m saved and I’m not like them. How am I different? Yet if one were to look from a distance at the two standing side-by-side, how could anyone differentiate the two. If we as believers draw closer to Jesus, how much more, His Holiness will radiate into us. Wouldn’t it be an accurate conclusion to say that others would see a true genuine difference. Many of the scripture verses we just read would have our name written within each phrase:
1. His light shines through me to all.
2. I am Holy because He is Holy.
3. I am a light on a hill.
4. I do not have only an outward appearance or religion, but an inward Holy Spirit transformation.
5. I am walking in wisdom with His gracious, seasoned salt.
6 I walk in obedience to God.
7. My mind is being transformed to be more like the mind of Christ.
8. My actions would line up with His will.
9. I am better equipped to proclaim the excellencies of the one who called me.
10. My life glorifies my Heavenly Father and His Son Christ Jesus.
(World) + (Christian) = compromise (God = Holiness)
(World) (Christian + God = Holiness)
Inspired by Sermon notes – Sunday March 3/14
Pastor Bryan Vaughn
Looking through the eyes of Jesus
When I was a child I acted like a child, spoke like a child and thought like a child. I had the faith of a child. Some children have innocence in their character. That character changes from the day they are born. I often think of my son Kyle and when he was about two years old, I would take him to playgroup to interact with other children. The children had all these toys to play with. I remember the way the little toddlers behaved. Some of these little ones, with angelic faces, had already developed a selfish character. They took ownership of the toys. Some were just nasty and hit the other little children over the head with the toys. I remember my son generously sharing the toys with the other children. It is not just because he is my son that I say this. He seemed different from the other children. Yes I was very proud of him. When the other children would take the toys away from him and say, “that is my toy”, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for my son. Kyle was a giver, not a taker. He handled the situation quite well for a two year old.
His character as a two year old was probably better than mine. While he could easily forgive, I wanted to spank their little bottoms. You could do that back in the day. I didn’t. As an adult, I could process things differently than a child. A lifetime of experiences had tainted my adult mind and that affected my character and the way my eyes looked at the situation. We all have had different experiences which have molded our character; some for good and others not so good. Plain intellect can taint the way we see things and our character can be governed more by our experiences. With a steadfast and sure faith in Christ Jesus and the Word of God, we can add a spiritual component to influence both our intellect and character to work together. This changes the dynamics of our reactions to others and can help us to look with the eyes of Christ. When we look at life or other people through the eyes of Christ Jesus, we can see things in a totally different way. We can look at life, people, situations, hardships, circumstances and even our own belief system with different eyes, from a different perspective.
In the physical, people have eye problems. I have a friend who is coloured blind. When my husband and many of our friends neared the age of forty, our vision began to change and many of us wear glasses to read. Some are far sighted or near sighted; others may have eye misalignment or a lazy eye.
In the spiritual we can have eye problems too. Lazy eyes can make it difficult for us to see the needs of other people of a different persuasion. Whether they have different beliefs, language, colour of skin or cultural background, our eyes help us decide how we respond or think. Let’s go to a biblical example:
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-25 (ESV)
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus[a] laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
First of all, if you saw some guy spitting on someone’s eyes, you would probably stop what you are doing, look, and be thinking, what is that guy doing? It wouldn’t make sense. Jesus spits on the man’s eyes and he was healed of his blindness but the man could see people as trees. When Jesus touched the man’s eyes again, the man could see clearly. Many times we are like that man. Sometimes we don’t see clearly. When we don’t see with good vision, everything can be affected in our lives and in the lives of others. There is usually a domino effect. Let’s also look at another example:
Jesus Begins His Ministry – Luke 4:14-15 (ESV)
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth – Luke 4:16-21 (ESV)
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: Isaiah 61:1-11 and Leviticus 25:8-12
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
In the previous verses read, this took place on the Sabbath day. Jesus went to synagogue. Today, many Christians and other religions, it is called church and most churches hold the Sabbath on Sunday as the early Christian Church were in the habit of meeting on the first day of the week. For the Jews it is called Synagogue. Determining what day should be observed as Sabbath, is a controversial subject between Christians, Messianic Jews and those of the Yeshua-faith. Messianic Jews keep Shabbat ( Sundown Friday until Sundown Saturday). Messianic Jews go to Synagogue on Erev Shabbat( Sabbath Eve~ Friday) and many meet for Torah study on Shabbos(Saturday) and many meet for Havdalah( End of the Sabbath~Saturday at dusk) service.
The early Church met on (day of Pentecost) what we know as Sunday, for them “the first day of the week”, but most would have continued in the Jewish tradition of Sabbath worship (Acts 2), meeting on Saturday also, with their Christian brothers and sisters. Acts 2:42 seems to indicate that the format they followed was very similar to their worship in the synagogue. It was the celebration of the Lord’s Supper that set apart their worship, as followers of Christ, from the regular Jewish worship. Of course that could not be incorporated into Sabbath worship, so they started to meet on Sunday as well. If you want to dig further, see http://www.biblelessons.com/origins.html or http://www.gci.org/law/sabbath1
In the example from Luke, the people in attendance are looking at Jesus as a carpenter’s son (son of Joseph) Jesus reads the scroll (scroll was the Nevi’im, the book of the Prophets, in which were the writings of Isaiah)) Jesus read a verse from the book of Isaiah. Picture all these people sitting there watching Jesus and listening to him read this scroll. The Synagogue is considered a Holy place. After reading it, Jesus hands them back the scroll and sat down. All eyes looking at Jesus (son of Joseph). I imagine they were quite shocked when he said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” If you play basketball, you might call this a slam dunk for Jesus. Can you imagine? Jesus was reading an old testament (scroll) prophesy about himself. Wow! That passage was Jesus mission statement to proclaim the good news to the poor. Save the lost, and set the captives free.
1. Why did he say preach the good news to the poor? Why not the rich? We are called to do what Jesus did. We are followers of Christ. That makes us His disciples to preach the Word of God as He instructed us to preach it. People thought being rich meant that they were favoured by God or blessed.
“Luke 6:20 (ESV) 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20….”
Poor referred to as an example of those who welcome Jesus’ message, as oppose to the rich, who were less likely to think they needed anything! “While, then, the blessedness he spoke of belonged not to the poor because they were poor, yet it seemed to belong to them especially as a class, because they welcomed the Master and tried to share his life, while the rich and powerful as a class did not.”( http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/6-20.htm).
2. “Have you ever fallen from the favour of God? Can you fall out of favour of God? Can you even find favour with God? 3. Jesus came to set the captives free? Who are the captives? Anyone who is enslaved to sin. Everyone who ever lived or lives.
4. He came to give sight to the spiritually blind, to open their eyes to see the truth about life and death and to unveil the truth so that all of mankind would know eternal salvation through Christ Jesus. The gospel he proclaimed in the synagogue could set those who were there listening on that Sabbath day free. Jesus wanted them to see the truth found in Him, the Son of God. Jesus read that scroll for all people who have lived through the centuries and also for us who live today. Those in the synagogue did not have eyes to see. Luke 4:29 and they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
5. He came to help the oppressed.
6. He came to proclaim the year of the Lords favour, also known as the year of Jubilee. (The Israelites were to periodically observe a year of Jubilee, during which time slaves would be set free, the debts would be forgiven and they would receive many blessings.) They failed to observe this practice and God’s judgement was upon them. When Jesus said this is the year of Jubilee, Christ was talking about all their debts being forgiven. Jesus did that by dying on the cross.
Jesus mission was a people-focused mission. It is what made him see people the way only he could see them, with a heart of compassion. Time and time again Jesus showed his compassion through his life ministry whenever he encountered sick, blind, grieving people. He interacted with people. There are so many examples:
A Sinful Woman Forgiven – Luke 7:36-48 (ESV)
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The woman washed his feet with her tears. Jesus saw her as a loving follower of Christ. He saw her differently than how Simon saw her. Jesus looks at people with compassion in order to help them. Our mission is to be like Jesus. Don’t look with your eyes, but look with the eyes of Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your mission. You will then discover ways to show others the love of Christ, by fulfilling the gospel and doing what Jesus told us to do.
Inspired by Sermon notes.
Pastor – Rev. Bryan Vaughan