Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!” Mark 6:1-3 NIV
Jesus’ ministry was threefold. He taught in the synagogue, he preached to the crowds wherever they found him, and he healed the sick. In Nazareth, Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, read the scripture and taught with divine authority. Luke 4:16-30 talks about a time Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah. These verses say, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,” Isaiah 61:1-2.
Rabbis at this time would quote other scholars to argue their points in their teaching. The gospels tell us that Jesus spoke with authority, and his audiences were amazed because he taught the scripture, but did not quote men. This Isaiah passage refers to the Year of Jubilee, but it was also referring to the messianic age. In Luke 4:21 Jesus says, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Everyone knew Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah.
Many people in the crowds following Jesus were only interested in his ability to heal and do amazing things. Jesus’ ministry was also about teaching the people about God’s Kingdom, how to interact with God, and with each other. The individual people Jesus healed wanted to be with Jesus, they wanted to tell others about all he had done for them. It is the same today. When we witness the Holy Spirit moving in an individual person, or perhaps in a group, we are drawn to worship God and to praise him, sing, and proclaim God’s goodness to all who will hear.
We don’t witness Jesus coming to our town, walking among us and healing people. But we do see God at work in our lives and in other’s lives every day. Take some time to examine your life in the past week, notice how God has provided for you, how he has answered your prayer, or another’s prayer. Psalm 92:2 says, “to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” Worship and praise God for his love, remember how he has been faithful to you – spend some time worshiping and thanking him.
By Grace Hunter