Today is Sunday, a wonderful day because it is dedicated to our Lord. We have been working six days of the week and have been busy with the things of this world. And now it is time to focus on the Kingdom of God. Today in the daily devotional we read the passage from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4. The Time of liberation.
Sunday Devotional January 23
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 4:16-20)
The Prophecy has come True
Luke begins the story of Jesus’ ministry right away with an amazing event. Jesus reads the message of the prophet Isaiah and says that behold, just now this prophecy has been fulfilled. For God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. Here I am.
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Poverty has many dimensions, not just material or physical. It is also spiritual poverty, which no longer sees the meaning of life, which causes frustration and depression.
Freeing the prisoners is not so much a matter of freeing the people who have to serve their sentence in prison, but of freeing them from the many burdens of daily life, from the prison of addictions, vices and sin. From everything that makes people unfree.
Jesus reads the Old Testament gospel from the book of Isaiah. His short interpretation is the word NOW. “Today the word of Scripture has been fulfilled.” (Luke 4:21). It’s not a matter of exact date and time, but Jesus wants to say that the Kingdom of God is already here.
Or even more clearly: it has already come through me.
Look at the world in all its darkness and beauty, watch out for it, and seize the opportunity to pursue the good.
The Time of Liberation
All that Jesus said then applies to us today. Many have fallen into the bondage of sin. Many are poor within themselves because they have given in to haste. Many are unhappy because they have succumbed to superficiality and have never known the life they live.
That is why Jesus’ words today bring us consolation. Consolation is liberation. It will come, burdens will be lifted, the truth will triumph, peace will become a reality. That is a really good wish, good news on this Sunday when there is so much tension and anxiety in the world.
Today is the time of liberation. So let us pray for those people who are torn apart by racial, class, or religious conflicts. May the Holy Spirit unite them in the Body of Christ. Holy Spirit also please bring light to those who feel the darkness in their hearts.
May our Lord Jesus set free sinners and those who are prisoners of demons. Let the Saviour reveal Himself to the needy poor: may He heal the sick and satisfy the hungry; may He save every oppressed person and give freedom to oppressed Christians.
Let us pray that we, nourished by the bread of Christ and refreshed by the living water of the Spirit, may experience the joy that comes from God.
Grant us, Lord, diligence and perseverance in prayer. You do not forsake us in our affliction; respond generously to the petitions with which we unceasingly appeal to Your Majesty. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.