The Year of the Lord’s Favour part 1
This series of talks is based in Luke, chapters 4-9, starting with the launch of Jesus’ ministry. Links to the podcasts are in the headings.
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:
“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.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21
Luke 4: 14-30
Simon began the series by setting the cultural context into which Jesus launched his ministry, and the response to his announcement. He continued by outlining Jesus’ Kingdom manifesto which is about the proclamation of good news, advocating justice and compassion for all.
Rob continued in Luke 4 asking what does favour look like in our lives? Is it possessions? Is it money? Is it the grace of God giving us what we don’t deserve?
Luke 5:27 – 6:10
Setting how shocking Jesus’ behaviour was to the Jewish society of the day, Joe asked how will we react to Jesus as King? The Kingdom of God is an anathema to the Pharisees who wanted to protect their old and legalistic ways of doing things. Will we be like the Pharisees or will we embrace the cost of being a disciple in the Kingdom?
Paul looked at the unusual nature of the Kingdom of God. People thought the long awaited Messiah would be a revolutionary overthrowing the oppressors. Jesus was a revolutionary, but not in that way. He chose unlikely disciples. He came to the poor and the ostracised, not to the powerful or the religious elite.
Luke 7: 1-17
Looking at two stories in Luke 7, Simon talked about two examples of Jesus bringing about the year of the Lord’s favour. He showed the comparison between the Centurion -wealthy, influential, male, Gentile – and the widow – a Jew, poor, female, with no authority. Both were outsiders with no right to expect God to intervene.
Luke 7: 18-23
From this passage in Luke 7:18-23, Rob looked at the doubts that John the Baptist had about Jesus. We can be assailed with doubts, asking where is God in my situation? But God can still use us.