Summary: Jesus ushers in a new kingdom and, with it, a new purpose for His followers’ lives. A special sermon contribution from the SON OF GOD sermon packet for pastors, inspired by the SON OF GOD movie from Mark Burnett and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
We live in an age of rapid change.
Our lives, our surroundings, our routines are constantly changing— sometimes so fast that we don’t even notice it; we can’t keep track; we can’t keep up.
In the process, things that once were necessities to us become quaint, obsolete, even ridiculous.
Remember unfolding an actual paper map to find your way? Or using a rotary telephone? Or adjusting a TV antenna?
Even fairly recent technologies and routines are gone now. Such as getting film developed …Popping a VHS tape in the VCR …Untangling a telephone cord …Storing information on a floppy disk …Cassette tapes …Encyclopedia sets …
If you hand a ten-year-old a vinyl record or a sheet of carbon paper, they’d probably have no idea what to do with it.
Those things once had a purpose, a use that everyone understood, but somewhere, somehow, things changed.
Do you know the same thing can happen to a human life?
When we were young, life was all about playing and having fun.Then it became all about learning and getting an education.Then the focus was working and “getting ahead”…and somewhere, somehow, things changed.
And many folks reach the Peggy Lee point …where like that famous singer and her signature song, they ask, “Is that all there is?”
Isn’t there more to life than getting a job and getting ahead? Isn’t there more than making money and acquiring stuff?Isn’t there more than this endless cycle of sleeping and waking, ups and downs,over and over?
Is it possible to live life with purpose, with meaning, with significance?
It may not surprise you to know that I believe it is …and that Jesus believed it, too. Not only did He believe it, but He showed us the way to that kind of life.
In fact, early in His ministry, Jesus revealed something important about Himself, and about everyone who follows Him.
He did it in a lot of ways, but perhaps most forcefully in the statement He gave in His hometown synagogue, as depicted in the following video clip from the Son of God movie, which we’ve been excerpting each week.
PLAY video clip from Son of God, “The Sermon/Rejection at Nazareth.”
That clip from the movie, Son of God, dramatizes the events described in Luke’s Gospel, chapter four. I invite you to turn to Luke 4 in your Bibles. This is the third part of a series called “Who Do You Say I Am?”
based on that movie, a dramatic portrayal of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as His message and mission.
Each week we have been watching the depiction of a Bible passage as the creators of t Son of God movie rendered it, and then we’ve been going to our Bibles to study and apply that part of Jesus’ story to our lives today.
Over the course of these studies, we have been seeing one facet after another of who Jesus is and all that He can do for those who put their trust in Him.
Today is no different, as we look at Jesus’ revelation of Himself as “the Anointed One,” the One promised by the prophets.
So look with me at Luke, chapter 4, where we will study verses 16–21. It says:
“[Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and 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 proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisonersand recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 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. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” —Luke 4:16–21, NIV
Now, numerous scholars agree that what Jesus read that day, as recorded in Luke 4:18–19, was not part of the haphtarah,¬the schedule of readings for synagogue worship.
In other words, He did something that was never done: He chose His own text . . . what is marked in our Bibles as Isaiah 61:1–2 . . .
And He chose it for a very specific purpose, one that’s pretty hard to miss:to announce His “mission statement” as the Anointed One, the Messiah!
He was stating, Matter of factly: “THIS IS WHY I AM HERE. THIS IS MY PURPOSE.”
It was a controversial claim, to say He was the Anointed One, the One the world awaited for centuries, “Son of God and Son of Man,” as the hymn puts it.