The New Testament, skillfully designed by God, reveals Jesus Christ from four distinct viewpoints. Matthew, the Levite Jew and tax collector, writing to the Jew presented Jesus Christ as the long anticipated Messiah. Mark, who wrote down everything Peter said, writing to the Roman presents Jesus as the suffering servant. Luke, a gentile doctor, wrote to the Greek and presents the Lord Jesus as the Son of Man. John, the beloved one, wrote to the Church and presents Him as the Son of God. John, also describes Jesus as the “Word of God” (NKJV, John 1.1) and says, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (NKJV, John 1.1, 3).
Matthew wrote to the Jews, Mark through Peter wrote to the Romans, Luke wrote to the Greek, and John to the Church. Matthew’s genealogy started with Abraham, Mark did not have a genealogy, probably because of a lack of concern for the pedigree of a servant, then Luke started with Adam because he portrayed Jesus as the Son of Man. John, in the first three verses, presents the genealogy of the preexisting one, who had no beginning or will have no end.
The focus of this paper involves a sermon that Jesus preached after His temptation by Satan in the desert. The content is coming from the Gospel of Luke who authored the Gospel sometime between 58 to 65 A.D. The Gospel of Luke the longest book of the Snoptics. After this (meta tauta in Greek) we will take a quick look at the state of Christianity in relation to reading and understanding the Word of God, and then applying it to our walk. Now lets examine Jesus Christ’s first sermon
Jesus Christ, chose His hometown of Nazareth, to preach His first sermon after the experience with Satan and the temptation for 40 days and nights. The Jews in attendance at the synagogue were about to discover a history lesson from the Master and writer of the Old Testament containing two prime examples of God’s dealings with the Gentiles while bypassing the Jews.
The text of Isaiah 61.1,2 and Luke 4.18,19 reads: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began to speak to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
For all intent and purposes, when a normal well-adjusted person reads Scripture, he or she would not find anything out of the ordinary in the text and just keep on reading. However, we’re not ordinary people because we know that every word, every letter, every number, every symbol and every jot or tittle has significant implications in English or one of the original languages. There was a reason that Jesus Christ in His first sermon stopped at “after the acceptable year of the Lord”.
It is what Jesus Christ did not say that is extremely provocative. Jesus stopped at the comma (NKJV, Isaiah 61.2) or period (NKJV, Luke 4.19), depending on the translation. What did he not say?: "...and the day of vengeance of our God." (NKJV, Isaiah 61.2; 34.8). Many of us believe that we are living in the day when the rapture of the church occurs. If so, “…the day of vengeance of our God” may be closer than we think. (Hill)
Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man who knew “the end from the beginning”. (NKJV, Isaiah 46:10). He saw, even at this early stage of His ministry that the Jews would not believe Him during His life on earth. How did He do this? Jesus knew the condition of their hearts and stopped because that portion of the Scripture would not be fulfilled at that time, “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts?” (NKJV, Luke 5.22).
In that same sermon, Jesus Christ told them they would mock him (NKJV, Luke 4.23), and that God chose to support the Gentiles, not Jews, during the drought of Elijah’s time giving them the example of Sidon’s Zarephath (NKJV, Luke 4.26). In another example, Jesus Christ pointed out that Elisha the prophet healed the Gentile leper Naaman the Syrian. The pious Jews, who had heard enough, rushed to throw Jesus Christ off a nearby cliff. (NKJV, Luke 4.27). He disappeared!
It is suggestive the same issue that caused the Jews blindness in recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah (NKJV, Romans 11.25), is the same issue many around us are facing today. Jesus said in John 14.6, "I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." The Word of God settles the issue; there is no other way to God. Either accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for eternal life, or, reject Jesus Christ and spend eternity in Hell away from God. God loves us and would not want anyone to die without Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Peter seemed to indicate this best, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (NKJV, 2 Peter 3.9).
We will continue this in our next article. God is not through with Israel as many of you who read my articles already know. If you want to know where God is in His timetable, you have Israel in the land. I want to thank you for reading the articles and it is my desire that you learn something about the wonderful Word of God. You don't have to believe me - look the scriptures up and let them speak to you as they have with me. God's blessings of peace to each of you.