Luke 4:16-21 He [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, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18The 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 prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. 20Then 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. 21He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Imagine for a moment, you are sitting in the synagogue where Jesus is teaching. Picture the synagogue attendant handing Jesus the scroll on which Isaiah’s prophecy was written. Imagine the Lord unrolling the scroll to what we now know as Isaiah 61 and beginning to read. As He read the scroll, He finished His reading by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” This is an amazingly bold statement! Jesus is saying in the clearest possible manner that he is the Messiah of Israel. Wow, right? Jesus is saying that he came to deal with the enormous problems that have afflicted mankind throughout history. For example,

Poverty. To preach the gospel to the poor.
Bondage. To proclaim freedom to the captives.
Suffering. To give recovery of sight to the blind.
Oppression. To set free those who are oppressed.

Simply, Jesus came and presented himself as the answer to all that ills and torments us. And the good news is that it is true–whether you think of these ills in a physical sense or in a spiritual sense. Christ is the answer and only in Christ can you truly be free from all the garbage that clutters and smells up our lives.

QUESTION 1. If you were to take a good hard look at your life, do you like the person you’ve become? (Explain)
QUESTION 2. Is there a sin that is catching up with you? Is there joy and freedom, as described in this passage, missing in your life? (Explain)
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to be like Mike and become reacquainted with Jesus, the Messiah. Let Him take over your life and give you the freedom and joy you desire. No more excuses! Let God know how you feel in prayer and live boldly for Christ, letting the people around you know about the good news and freedom that comes only from him.
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