Both the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles were written for this same Theophilus, all so that he might come to believe in Jesus the Christ. It has been pointed out over the years by many scholars that some of the more well-known Gospel stories are only found in Luke. Two of the most famous I would venture to say would be the annunciation by the angel Gabriel to Mary and her subsequent visit to her cousin Elizabeth from which we receive the words of the amazing Magnificat! But not to forget other stories unique to Luke such as: the good Samaritan and the Lavish Father (the Prodigal Son).
Last week in John’s Gospel we had Jesus beginning his public ministry at the wedding feast at Cana and the miracle of the turning of the water into wine. Luke similarly places the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in the region of Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit, where he traveled about the area preaching in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
And then he heads to his hometown of Nazareth and Luke recounts this wonderful scene of Jesus going to his home synagogue and proclaiming the words of the prophet Isaiah.
Jesus proclaims these famous words of, arguably, one of the most important of the ancient prophets. That opening line; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”... is a proclamation of Jesus’ true identity, just as at the wedding at Cana, by his miracle he revealed his true identity.
In this case it is Jesus’ words when he sits down; “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” This is the moment when Jesus tells all of his boyhood friends and neighbors that he is not who they think he is! No he is MUCH MORE. He is the ONE upon whom rests “The Spirit of the Lord”! Now that is an amazing proclamation! And it had to have been shocking and somewhat unbelievable to his kin and to those who had known him all his life. But we will hear more about that next week.
What is the Spirit of the Lord moving me to do with my life? To whom is the Spirit calling me to reach out to?