Many of you may remember the story of Captain Scott O¡¦Grady whose plane was shot down in the Bosnian conflict less than two years ago¡K
The June 19, 1995 issue of Newsweek recounts the details of Captain O¡¦Grady¡¦s six day ordeal behind enemy lines. Tearing off his chute on the ground, he hid in the bushes while hostile Serbs shot at anything that moved in the brush. Over the next five days, O¡¦Grady would survive on ants, plants, and rain water, daring to move only at night so he would not be detected. In the middle of the night, he would signal with his hand-held radio with its limited range of forty miles. O¡¦Grady, however, was running out of time and losing the power from the radio batteries and was suffering from hypothermia. As he huddled in a rocky pasture on a clear midnight on June 8, O¡¦Grady faintly heard the voice of another American pilot on his radio. Once he had been found, the U.S. Air Force spared no expense and quickly assembled the finest aircraft worth hundreds of millions of dollars to rescue their comrade in Bosnia.
- We, like Captain Scott O¡¦Grady, live in a world full of danger¡K despair¡K maybe not hiding in fear for our immediate lives, but quietly in our souls we¡¦re tempted to draw back in fear, sensing that we are surrounded by danger¡K that evil is the great occupying power, and that ultimately it claims our life in death.
- This morning in God¡¦s word, we meet God¡¦s response to any such feelings. For the God of Heaven and Earth has not been silent. He sees the Scott O¡¦Grady story is indeed our own¡K we are caught behind enemy lines¡K and he¡¦s come in power to rescue and reclaim this world.
Jesus returned to Galilee in th power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
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 for the prisoners
And recovery of sight for the blind,
To release the oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord¡¦s favor.¡¨
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ¡§Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.¡¨ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ¡§Isn¡¦t this Joseph¡¦s son?¡¨ they asked. Jesus said to them, ¡§Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ¡¥Physician heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.¡¦ I tell you the truth,¡¨ he continued, ¡§no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah¡¦s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed¡Xonly Naaman they Syrian.¡¨ All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority¡K When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ¡§You are the Son of God!¡¨ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, ¡§I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.¡¨ (Luke 4:14-32, 40-43)
- Here we are introduced to A RECOGNIZANT MISSION OF COSMIC PROPORTIONS, ¡KOF ALL CREATION
- More specifically we are introduced to the RESCUER AND RECLAIMER HIMSELF¡K JESUS
- As the angels had announced at his birth, ¡§They bring Good News of Great Joy¡K for a SAVIOR was born.¡¨
In the weeks to come¡K encounter many close-ups of this person we¡¦ve come to know as Lord¡K and the Lover of our lives¡K Leader of our lives. First¡K that which serves as the introduction; the frame by which all we encounter finds its proper perspective.
Last week¡K ¡¥Jesus¡K Great Shepherd¡¨¡K God¡¦s heart comes alive in the history of that shepherd description. ¡KNow, Jesus-The Reclaiming King
- May strike us as two very different images¡K but to the original hearers in Israel¡K the blended naturally, to form a picture of great rulers¡K ultimately God
o Great Kings- called shepherds
o Shepherd- Intimate connection and care//King- broader authority and power at hand.
That is the Jesus we meet¡K God who cares¡K God who is in control.
Want to walk through this introduction of our Reclaiming King and capture something of what God is saying to our present reality and of our relationship with Jesus.
Luke gives a fascinating account of what leads up to this great proclamation by Jesus¡K
- Baptism/Father speaks¡K ¡¥This is my son¡¦¡K Spirit descends¡XDesert/Devil
- Like single combat warriors, two powers at hand converge in a place of desolation. One is beginning his mission in enemy territory, the other confident on home turf.
- Devil¡K tempt him¡K to offer one wearied in his human condition to come enjoy ruling with him¡K crown without a cross.
- Jesus speaks out of the truth of God¡¦s word
o As John describes him, ¡¥The Living Word¡K come to fulfill the Word of God¡¦
o Overcomes him¡K filled with the spirit
- Tells us something about the spiritual authority we see before us as Jesus enters the scene we read.
o Battle wasn¡¦t won in hype or emotions but rather in holding on to truth¡K forged in faith¡K He rose up to fulfill his calling by a deep determination/faith.
- Tells us something about our own spiritual authority
o The devil isn¡¦t threatened by our religious hype¡K but our faith¡K our deep confidence in God¡K His Word¡K
o That¡¦s the authority that enters and proclaims itself.
- Now¡K with the authority born deep in his spirit in the wilderness, he is prepared for both the popularity and opposition he would face.
- Popularity is what he found in the REGION of GALILEE¡K
He began in Galilee. Galilee was an area in the north of Palestine about fifty miles from north to south and twenty-five miles from east to west. The name itself means a circle and comes from the Hebrew word Galil. It was so called because it was encircled by non-Jewish Nations. Because of that, new influences had always played upon Galilee and it was the most forward-looking and least conservative part of Palestine. The Galilaeans themselves were the Highlanders of Palestine. Josephus says of them, ¡§They were ever fond of innovations and by nature disposed to changes, and delighted in seditions.¡¨ ¡§The Galilaeans,¡¨ it was said, ¡§have never been destitute of courage.¡¨ They were ever more anxious for honour than for gain.¡¨
That is the land in which Jesus began. It was his own land¡K
- A good place to begin a revolution¡K a cosmic revolution of God¡¦s grace an power¡K but then he visits Nazareth¡K a town drawn back from change¡K home town. Synagogue¡K ¡§As was his custom¡K¡¨ never set himself against¡K rather he held a deep commitment to regular worship and participation¡K example for us all. Synagogue more informal picture than the temple¡K one temple¡K normal for one recognized as a teacher, to read the Scriptures
- Given/or/Turns to Isaiah 61¡K prophetic and profound words
o Year of Jubilee or Release
o Indeed¡K ¡§good news to the poor¡¨¡K free from their indebtedness
o Freedom for the prisoners¡K captives, literally ¡§prisoners of war¡¨
o Recover of sight to the blind¡K literally, ¡¥opaque, as if smoky¡K both spiritual and physical blindness (Matt 15:14; 23:16, 26)
- NEW AGE¡K MESSIANIC AGE¡K captured in ¡§Kingdom of God¡¨ ¡K God¡¦s Reign/Rulership
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ¡§The time has come,¡¨ he said. ¡§The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!¡¨ (Mark 1:14-15)
¡§When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ¡¥The kingdom of God is near you.¡¦¡¨ (Luke 10:8-9)
Jesus associates the kingdom of God with healing¡K delivering from demonic powers, and releasing people from oppression.
- THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST TO RECLAIM GOD¡¦S REIGN IN OUR LIVES IS REVEALED IN WORD AND DEED.
o Revealed in Declaration and Demonstration¡K Illumination and Illustration
„X Kingdom Ministry is Word and Works
o Jesus summed up how we should pray¡K ¡¥Thy kingdom come¡¦
„X Revealing ¡§Kingdom Come¡¨ stuff¡K
o That¡¦s our heritage as part of the Vineyard Movement¡K must remain alive in our hearts and actively at hand
- In these words of Jesus lies a dynamic understanding of our reality
o We live in the midst of a war¡K a spiritual war
o Kingdom of God is at hand¡K must be declared¡K demonstrated
„X Come/inaugurated¡K complete until he established¡K return (Yancey/C.S. Lewis)
In this process we recognize the very reality of battle includes suffering and sacrifice, not simplistic.
- Paul¡X¡¥the whole world as groaning, waiting to be redeemed when Christ returns¡K¡¦
- Neither presumptuous nor passive¡K faith¡Kto join God in what he is sovereignly doing.
KNOW JESUS¡Xmeet him for who he is; not neutral and nice guy, because not a neutral and nice world.
- Presence is never powerless¡K whether power to touch the heart or touch the body.
- No one is indifferent to a king¡K
¡K which leads finally to the reactions¡K
He really livened up this synagogue when he closed the book and said¡K ¡§fulfilled¡¨
This claim seemed to stun the listeners. The were drawn to Jesus¡¦ gracious words, but over and over they kept saying, ¡§Isn¡¦t this Joseph¡¦s son? We¡¦ve known him as a child, a youth, a young man moving among us. Are we now to suddenly see him as Israel¡¦s deliverer?¡¨
1. First problem¡K preconceptions¡K ¡§We want Jesus to be one of us.¡¨
People today are faced with this same dilemma. Many have thought of Jesus as a teacher, as a good man, or a tragic historical figure who was killed because he was too far ahead of his time. But when we meet Jesus in Scripture, and hear his claims, we realize that Jesus calls on us to see him as the living son of God.
- Jesus¡K sees their excitement¡K reveals their pride and prejudice
o Lets keep this about us¡K our identity more than God¡¦s plan for humanity
o War between Jews and Romans¡K reduced good and evil to ¡¥us and them¡¦
o Jesus says¡K God won¡¦t operate that way¡K never has¡K socially weak (widow) and marginalized (lepers)¡K but even more offensive¡K two Gentile regions¡K Sidon and Syria particularly despised.
- GOD IS RAISING HIS SOVEREIGN HAND NOT ONLY OVER THE DEVIL AND ALL SPIRITUAL POWERS, BUT OVER ALL HUMAN PRIDE AND POWER
- THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST IS NOW FULFILLED AND FOREVER HIS AND HIS ALONE.
o Anointed me¡K fulfilled before you
o Anointed¡K root of Hebrew Messiah¡K Christ (Christus) is Greek translation
„X Refers to the ancient manner by which kings were coronated
- Only the rightful king can defeat the king of this world.
o Defeated sin¡Kseparation from life with God¡K death itself
o Only ¡¥One name¡¦
o That¡¦s why if¡K thy kingdom come¡K in the name of Jesus
„X The dynamic is not to be one of ritual, but representation
- Are we still hiding in the bushes, not knowing the air force has come?
o Perhaps never know¡K give you an opportunity to know him¡K your king¡K
o Perhaps¡K (Image¡K some recently found yourself with news¡K different. Unexpected¡K pregnancy¡K)