August 15, Sunday

UPDATEDToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought was first posted on August 11, 2013.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Jesus the Bondage Breaker”

Luke 4:16-21

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

The coming of Christ ushered the year of the Lord’s favor.  Although the people in Nazareth “were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips” (v. 22) when Jesus spoke, those who “knew” him from his childhood could not believe Jesus.  It was beyond debate that Jesus spoke with grace and authority, but they just could not shake their prejudice or “familiarity” of Jesus.  In response to the people’s subtle rejection and unbelief, Jesus took this opportunity to answer why only few people were saved, healed, and experienced God’s provision.  

In addition, coming to the synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus grew up, he fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-2.  Read Luke 4:18, 19 and pray for freedom in the area where you are in bondage.  

Now, the Israelites as a nation were under the bondage of seeing themselves as the sole object of God’s love; therefore, they refused to share God’s blessing with the nations (Acts 22:21-2).   That is why the Jews, shortly after being “amazed at the gracious words that c[a]me from” Jesus (Luke 4:22), became furious when he mentioned how God, having bypassed the Israelites, blessed the poor Sidonian woman and healed Naaman the Syrian from leprosy (Luke 4:24-29); in fact, they tried to kill Jesus on that day.  That’s a strong bondage!  

No one can free us from that type of bondage (e.g., alcohol, pornography, gambling, hate, bitterness, etc.) except the Lord Jesus.  Go to him; cry out to him; read and meditate on his word.  Surround yourself with God-fearing and loving people who would cry and pray with you and hold you accountable.  

Prayer: Lord, free me from my bondage to comfort and pleasure above all else.  Lord, free me from my bondage to self-perception that I am this wonderful Christian because I belong to a megachurch and have many wonderful Christian books on my desk.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 15

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