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Luke 4:14-21, Third Sunday After Epiphany

Key Verse

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
— Luke 4:14, 15

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, January 27, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

3rd Epiphany 2019

Main Idea: Jesus’ words brought hope to a weary people.

Jesus had just returned from being tempted in the wilderness. He was ready, and his ministry was about to begin. “Filled with the power of the Spirit” (which seems to be an important point, as Jesus’ words and actions often begin with this), Jesus began to teach in the synagogues. Jesus could have begun his ministry with grand gestures of miracles and healings, with spectacular displays of supernatural occurrences. But Jesus started where people were comfortable. He preached in the synagogue, speaking words they already knew, with a promise that the words that brought them comfort were about to become even more fruitful. “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

What must it have meant to Jesus’ hearers to know that the promises that had been made on their behalf were about to come to fruition? Anticipation? Excitement? Fear? Probably yes.

The promise was this: “release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free.” To a people weary from captivity and oppression, Jesus’ words would have sounded like water to one dying of thirst. Words of healing to one suffering too long.

Suffering still haunts many of us even today. Jesus’ words of hope and release can be just as sweet. Jesus meets us where we are the most comfortable, with words that soothe and heal. Words can be powerful. Words can be comforting. Words can change everything.

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Luke 4:14-21 (NRSV)

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Earlier Event: January 26
Luke 2:39-52, Boy Jesus in the Temple