On Dec 21, 2014, pastor Darin preached a sermon from Luke 4:14-30 called Good Will to All. We live in a culture that is characterized by the word “instant.” The church calendar though forces us to stop and reflect. Advent is about the act of waiting and expecting. We see this in our text today as well. The people had waited a very long time for God to fulfill his promises, and they were now under the tyranny of the Roman empire. God was silent. But now word spread about Jesus, and the people come to a synagogue to hear His teaching. Jesus reads from Isaiah 61, and declares that the time of the Lord’s favor is here. But when He chides them for their unbelief—essentially pressing His claims of Lordship over them—they go from marveling at Him, to wanting to throw Him over a cliff! So, the key idea of the sermon is that to experience favor with God, we must receive Jesus as Lord. 3 points:
1. The liberty Jesus speaks of is real
a. In v. 18, when Jesus says he has come to set at liberty those who are oppressed, it has real meaning to them for their lives right then and there. And the idea the year of the Lord’s favor is rooted in the OT concept of the Year of Jubilee, when every 50 years all debts were to be canceled. Dig Deeper: Jesus ushers in the ultimate time of Jubilee: to deliver us from the immense debt of the wages of sin through His death on the cross. He is our Jubilee.
b. v. 22 - Jesus speaks words that they don’t like or appreciate and they want to kill Him. They received Jesus on their terms. The moment He said something they didn’t like, it was over. Dig Deeper: Do you have no problem worshipping Jesus, until He says something you don’t like—until He presses his Lordship upon you? Examine your heart.
c. v. 27 - Jesus refers to a time when Israel turned from God, but Elisha’s ministry took root among foreigners! So, the words of Isaiah 61 might apply to Gentiles—to their oppressors—and not them! Dig Deeper: Jesus offered them a salvation that would bring healing and satisfaction, and He offers that the us today, not as a Santa Claus, or a genie, but as Lord and God. He comes not merely as a gift-giver, but as God. What is your view of Jesus?
d. The people reject Jesus at that point. Dig deeper: Jesus makes claims on things that matter the most. He comes in humility, and dies on the cross, and comes to us as Lord, and beckons us to come to him on his terms. It is in the moment that He comes to us as Lord that we often turn back and say that He can come no further. What things are preventing you from coming? Do you receive Him and the freedom He offers, or hold Him at arm’s length?
2. Jesus bears the vengeance that make our liberty a personal reality
a. Jesus quotes Isaiah 61 but leaves out “and the day of vengeance…” Why? Because the day of vengeance would be executed on Jesus when He went to the cross. He proclaims favor then because he would take God’s vengeance upon himself as he absorbs our sins on the cross and rises from the dead so that we could be set free forever!
b. The announcement remains for us today: healing, favor, deliverance, salvation, if you receive Christ not merely as the gift-giver, but as Lord, and Savior. Dig Deeper: What are you holding back from Him? Trust Him with all things. Lay down your rights of refusal. Submit to Him as Lord in all areas of your life today. For peace and favor with God, we must yield to the Lordship of Christ. May we all do that today.