14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,17and 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 bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Ladies and gentlemen I have a problem. I don’t know if you can help me.
I think I might be owed money from PPI but I don’t know where to find anyone who will help me find out.
What? you mean there is someone, wow, where would I find them? What they advertise on the telly? Gosh right under my nose and I never knew.
Of course we all know about PPI, is there anyone left in the whole world who hasn’t had letters from law firms promising to get them for a fee, what they’re owed.
What its been there right under my nose, all the time?
So as I read this gospel passage this week it occurred to me, that the parallels are very similar. For centuries Isaiah had been ‘advertising’ the coming of the messiah. Everyone was expecting him and everyone knew he was coming. And Jesus simply reads the scripture in the synagogue and all the men there would nod their heads sagely and Jesus says simply, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
What? Jesus the messiah was right under their noses and the people in the synagogue never knew.
You would have thought that perhaps everyone was expecting the announcement of the arrival of the messiah to have been a profoundly earth shattering moment. At least an army of angels singing praises and bright lights from the sky. Perhaps Jesus announcement was too simple? But that didn’t make it any less true.
To me it’s important to note that when Jesus was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, he opened it to the place where it says, “…he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”
He was proclaiming God’s intent that God’s servant will pay particular attention to people who are afflicted and bound and blind. God’s love is for everyone.
He told them, you’ve been waiting centuries for the messiah, well folks, here I am. Now let’s get on with the work of loving all people. Jesus was right there under their noses. He is still right under our noses, and once we acknowledge that, then my friends the world is our oyster. And when we acknowledge Christ we have to share Him with others. That’s when it gets tough, but don’t worry like Saint Francis of Assisi said: “Preach the gospel at all times,” he said, “and when necessary use words.” So, just be there under the noses of the people around you. God will do the rest
Simple’s , job done.