Summary: Peter says that the prophets spoke of both the glory and suffering of Christ; the First Coming and the Second Coming of Christ.
Harmony of the Gospels
Rejected at Nazareth
Jesus opened His public ministry in Nazareth, by reading these verses from Isaiah.
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Who is he talking about? Who is it who says, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me?” This verse refers to Jesus Christ, but is it talking about His First or Second Coming? Well, actually it is talking about both. Isaiah did not make a distinction between the First and Second Coming of Christ, but Jesus did. He will lend His interpretation to these verses, when He speaks at the synagogue in His hometown. We will read about that in Luke 4:16-30. In Isaiah’s prophesy, a little “and” separates the first and second comings of Christ. You could say that that “and” currently represents 2100 years. The prophets were blessed to be able to look into the future and see these two great events, but they couldn’t tell how long it would be between them. The apostle Paul confirms this, “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesized of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 11:10-11) Peter says that the prophets spoke of both the glory and suffering of Christ; the First Coming and the Second Coming of Christ.
We have an advantage over the prophets, because to them both the First Coming and Second Coming were in the future. Our advantage is that we stand in the valley between the two events. We can look back to His First Coming, when He came to save and to fulfill Isaiah 53. We can look forward to His Second Coming, but before that happens, the church will be removed from the earth. In John 14:3 Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” When He comes to earth the second time, it will be to establish His kingdom. At that time, He will put down all rebellion. It will not be a pretty sight. The kingdom will be established with vengeance and the wrath of God will come to bear on sinful man. Jesus Christ is in control, and when He comes the second time, that will be “the day of vengeance of our God.”
“To comfort all that mourn.” Right after He announces the day of vengeance, He says that He will comfort all that mourn-those that mourn over their sin, and want to be obedient to Him.
Now we can look at one of the most scintillating events in the Gospels. It is full of meaning and rich with drama. Dr. Luke is the one who recorded it.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord was upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:16-21)
This incident is recorded only in Luke’s Gospel, and it is remarkable. He begins by telling us that He has returned to His hometown, Nazareth. There would be family, friends and acquaintances there. He was well known by many and you would think that they would be proud of Him, because there was not much good that had come out of Nazareth, before Jesus.