Lent 2015, Led to the Cross: the great Physician- preaching and persecution

He heals the broken

Yesterday we read about Jesus’ triumph over temptation after spending 40 days in the wilderness with the devil. 40 days of one temptation assault after another- 40 days with no nourishment, no encouragement, no support system or camaraderie. 40 days of satanic assault.  What happens next?

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues,and everyone praised him. (Luke 4:14)

After 40 days in the desert, and resisting the devil’s temptation, Jesus goes home and begins to preach and perform miracles.

He 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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: (Luke 4:16)

The act of Jesus receiving and opening the scroll fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 29:11 “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to take the book, and open the seals; for he can open, not the book only, but the understanding. ”

Jesus opens the scroll and reads from Isaiah 61:1

“The 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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:16-19)

The very first words that Jesus chooses to share after returning from the desert explain his calling and his purpose. Jesus tells the men in the temple that He is anointed by God and sent to set the give sight to the blind, set the oppressed free, and proclaim the Lord’s favor.

Christ came to be a great Physician; for he was sent to heal the broken-hearted, to comfort and cure afflicted consciences, to give peace to those that were troubled and humbled for sins, and under a dread of God’s wrath against them for them, and to bring them to rest who were weary and heavy-laden, under the burden of guilt and corruption. (Matthew Henry)

How do those hearing that first message react? The persecution begins.

The mountains standing in Your strength
The oceans roaring out Your praise
All creation glorifies Your name. -Glory, Phil Wickham

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