Today our Gospel reading is taken from the first chapters of Luke, where it quotes from Isaiah. It’s the passage that talks about bringing good to the poor, liberty to captives, and sight to the blind.
In our story today, Jesus has returned to Nazareth, where he grew up. This is Jesus’ hometown, so everyone knows him. Jesus is accustomed to going to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Obviously, he served as a lector because Luke has him reading from Isaiah. When Jesus is finished reading the passage he picked, he says to the people, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
I’m sure you can understand that this was not well accepted by the people. After all, Jesus is just a carpenter, isn’t he? Wasn’t he raised among us? Where did he get all this information? How does he know this is being fulfilled?
This is one of the few times Jesus tells the people exactly what he is doing. He has come to do the work of God, and he proves that his mission is to do just that by quoting from Isaiah. Not only does Jesus proclaim he will do the work, but he does it. Jesus cures people of blindness and many other ailments. He feeds them, makes sure they have water to drink, and gives of himself so that others may have a better life. If they let him, he would help them release themselves from the captivity of sinfulness.
You know, things haven’t really changed that much. Jesus offers us the same things he offered to the people of his time. He can free us from captivity. He can show us how to live our lives so that we are not controlled by life but control what life hands us.
Peace and All Good!