Summary: We are Jesus body in the world. The glory of God is made manifest through us. We sit on David’s throne, to lead and command the nations. We are his beautiful people.

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Sermon by Rev Heather Cetrangolo

Jesus was standing in the synagogue, in Nazareth, and he read from Isaiah 61

After he read the passage, he rolled up the scroll, he gave it to the attendant, everyone was staring at him and he said, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

I love that moment … I think because, I imagine, that the scene at the synagogue wouldn’t have been that different to our church gathering here this morning … except that the men and women would have sat separately and the music wouldn’t have been as good and they didn’t have powerpoint, but apart from that …

I can see women gathering at the back with their friends, and catching up on news (which happens here every week) … I can see kids running around outside, thinking “when do we get to eat?” I can see younger men sitting in the front row learning the scripture. I can see the majority of the congregation kind of glazing over as the scripture reading starts, kind of half listening, or hearing the first verse and thinking, ‘oh yeah, I know that one’ … and then young Jesus, who is just like Jamin or Nic or Abel-John … just a young man who everyone knows and people have watched him grow up and do his apprenticeship and make his Bar-Mitzvah …

… he gets up and says, ‘the prophecy has been fulfilled today’ … and people are thinking, ah, ‘Jesus, you’re not supposed to preach, just read the reading and sit down’ … or his brothers and sisters are thinking, ‘what is our embarrassing brother doing now?’ … and some people are thinking, ‘yeah he’s always been a bit strange this one, thinks he’s got a gift of prophecy or something …’

And yet, in that ordinary place, amongst those ordinary people … because of a seemingly ordinary man … the prophecy was indeed fulfilled, in their hearing.

Today’s passage from Isaiah, chapter 55, is all about a prophecy that is being fulfilled as we meet here today. We have just in the last two weeks of this teaching series, shifted into a second section of Isaiah … having moved pretty quickly through over a hundred years of history, from the year of King Uzziah through King Ahaz’s reign, the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom, and King Hezekiah’s faithfulness to God …

We have now come to a section of Isaiah that is almost exclusively about the future. The Lord revealed to Isaiah prophecies about things that hadn’t happened yet, and the plan he had to save Israel … this plan included the Babylonian conquest of the southern kingdom (which happened) about a hundred years later … as well as something that happened about six hundred years later …

Six hundred years later, a young carpenter, was reading from the prophecy at a tiny little synagogue, in Nazareth. He said he was the one who had been anointed to save Israel.

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