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 is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, 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 (Luke 4:16-19).
This is the account of the first teaching of Christ in Nazareth. He found the place where it was written. It was written literally means “It stands written.” If one looks back at Isaiah 61:1, 3, 10-11 he will understand that Jesus knew what His purpose was in coming into the world and what His mission was. He was anointed as a prophet and as a king. The Spirit descending upon Him indicates His kingship. Matthew presents Christ as King. Mark presents Christ as a priest and Luke pictures Christ as Prophet. His work has begun. If you notice carefully you will notice that one phrase is left out of Luke’s record that Isaiah wrote. In Isaiah 61:2 the Bible says, “and the day of vengeance of our God.” For those who reject Christ, the vengeance of God will be waiting for them.
Notice that Jesus got up to read the Scriptures. He did not tell a joke or give some life experience. Some lessons (?) have no Scripture. We ought to learn from Jesus that the Scriptures are to be taught. This is to be done by all but it is the single solitary work of the preacher. He is to preach the Word.
“He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18). This verse shows what sin does. Sin breaks hearts. When people think that they can sin and that it really does not make any difference, they ought to read this. Sin is a robber. It cheats us out of the best things in life. Sin brings us into bondage and captures us. The Jews were captured and were in bondage. This is why Jesus came. This is the real meaning of the truth making us free if we know it (cf., John 8:32). What kind of freedom? The bondage of sin!
Sin blinds—recovering sight of the blind. There is nothing more blinding than sin. Jesus came to help people get their sight back. Sin bruises. He came to set at liberty those who were bruised. Sin beats and bruises. He came into the work to undo what sin had done.
Leviticus 25 is the background behind the acceptable year of the Lord. Jubilee was a year of liberty. The man that had lost his land would get it back. There was freedom among the oppressed in the year of Jubilee. Jesus brought liberty. It is interesting that the Lord’s Supper and the beginning of the church is tied to the formula that is prescribed just here. Leviticus 23:15 gives us the formula that they were to follow. Instead of 7 years count 7 Sabbaths. The next day after the 7th Sabbath was the day of Pentecost. This is the day the power came upon the apostles. This is the day that people who obeyed the Gospel begin communing with the Lord in the supper. I am glad that Jesus came and began to speak.