Summary: Jesus begins His ministry by opening the book of Isaiah to explain WHY He came!
• SLIDE #1
• We are closing in on Easter Sunday, the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!
• As we enter this wonderful time of celebration today I want take us into the Synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath.
• Jesus is going to handed to scroll that contained the book of Isaiah and from this Jesus was going to read from Isaiah 61:1-2, which was regarded to be a Messianic passage by the Jewish scholars.
• Now since Jesus’ public ministry opened with His baptism by John, He had been very busy.
• He spent 40 days a nights in the wilderness to be tempted, He later picks up His first followers, turns water into wine at the wedding of Cana of Galilee. He cleanses the temple for the first time, and has an interview with Nicodemus.
• Jesus is doing a lot of things in the beginning of His ministry, but in the passage we will look at today, Jesus is going to give The Inaugural Address!
• But in the midst of His busy schedule, when Jesus enters the Synagogue, He is going to read a passage that spells out the mission of His ministry.
• He missions was not to just perform miracles, to heal everyone from their diseases or even rid the world of poverty, but rather His mission would be to deal with a much deep issue that has plagued mankind since the fall in the garden.
• As important as His resurrection is, if we do not understand WHY He came, WHY He died, and WHY this should be important for us, Easter just becomes another holiday featuring a big rabbit.
• SLIDE #2
• Let’s begin turning to Luke 4:14-21
• SLIDE #3
• Luke 4:14–21 (HCSB) 14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone. 16 He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written: 18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. 20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”
• SLIDE #4
• Jesus came to…
I. Preach to the poor.
• There are a couple of different ways we can take this to mean.
• When Jesus says that He came to preach to the poor, He could have been talking about the physically or materially poor.
• This thought fits in with the rest of the gospel of Luke where he frequently speaks of the poor.
• The religious leaders of the day would have nothing to do with the poor, they despised the poor.
• We need to try to reach the poor as we need to reach the middle-class and the wealthy!
• Jesus reached out to the poor; however, He did not cure their poverty. Poverty was not their real problem, SIN was the problem that Jesus dealt with.
• On one hand, Jesus told us to give to the poor in Matthew 6:1-5, but on the other hand Jesus reminds us…
• SLIDE #5
• Matthew 26:11 (HCSB) 11 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.
• To limit this to the poor only short-changes why Jesus came, He does not JUST want to reach the physically or materially poor.
• If we misunderstand this part of the mission we will do what many churches do, we will only focus our energies on a social gospel were we only focus on ridding the world of poverty which will never happen in this world.
• God desires all to be saved!
• The real mission here is the second option, the SPIRITUALLY poor!
• As we look at each part of the mission we can see that Jesus came to deal with the root of our problems, sin!
• Sin does have devastating effects on each of us.
• Sin may seem fun, but it is not good for us.
• It is like a person who loves to gamble or do drugs.