Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blind in Nazareth

Today's passage:  Isaiah 61/Luke 4:18-21
     Jesus quotes the first two verses of Isaiah 61 when He teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth.  It was early in His ministry, shortly after His temptation in the wilderness.  The account of reading the actual verses is only recorded in Luke.  There are some slight differences in wording when Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah and the book of Isaiah in my Old Testament.  I am not questioning the validity, because they are all God's Words, I just find it curious that there is a whole phrase that I don't see in Isaiah 61:1 and what Jesus read in Luke 4:18.  The phrase is "....and recovering sight to the blind..."  The rest of the verse is almost word for word.  If Jesus added it, it is His right, because they are His words, and He can add what He wants to.  Did He add it in for this particular occasion, because he was talking to a hometown audience?  Was He trying to emphasize that the Nazarenes were blind?
Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah--Taken from The Children's Friend (Part 2)
By Mrs. Adelaide Bee Evans
Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1911, 1928
     After He reads these verses, He sits down and declares that today the Scripture has been filled.  He was the Anointed One who would cause all these things to happen.   If I had been sitting in the synagogue that day, I probably would have regarded Jesus with the same skepticism that the Nazarenes had.  This was a man I would have watched grow up.  I would have gone to the carpentry shop and asked Him to build me a table or to repair a chair.  I would have heard Mary boast about what a fine man her Jesus was.  I would have followed Him into the synagogue each Sabbath.  I would have seen Him board up His shop, kiss His mother goodbye, and walk out of town without a single belonging.  I would have scratched my head at the strange accounts I had been hearing in nearby towns.  Accounts of miraculous healing, water turning into wine, sermons preached in the wilderness.  I would have thought, "Why not here?  If He was going to become a preacher and a miracle worker, why not here?"  When He did return, I would have listened cautiously, not with my heart but with my head, trying to analyze why He would come back now.  I would wonder why He stopped reading in the middle of verse 2.  Why didn't He finish the verse about the day of vengeance and comforting those who mourn?  After all, the Messiah would overthrow the Roman tyrants to whom I paid taxes.  He would exact revenge on those who had persecuted us. Why didn't He read about that part, if He was the Anointed One? I would grind my teeth at His suggestion that He was a great prophet, putting Himself in a category with Elijah and Elisha.  I would have helped drive Him out of the synagogue, I would have been first in line to throw Him off the high cliff.  Then I would have been amazed when He was able to push past us without being harmed.  I would have been further amazed when I heard a few days later, a demon was cast out in Capernaum. I would have taken offense that He never returned to our town, that He only sent His followers to preach.  When would my eyes be opened?  When I heard that Mary and her other children would travel to Jerusalem to witness her son being crucified?  When I heard that the tomb for Joseph's son was empty?  When a group of His followers insisted that He went up into Heaven before their very eyes?  How long would my heart be hardened?  When would I believe?  When would I recover my sight?  Only when I recognized that the Messiah was not who I thought He should be and when I acknowledged He was who God meant Him to be.  Not a political pawn, but a suffering Savior.  Then I would realize why He stopped reading in the middle of the verse.  I would remember that He said He would return, and then He would exercise judgement, then He would soothe the grieving.  I would have been blind, but my sight would be restored.  I would finally see that He was the Anointed One.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What is God doing in your life?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...