Luke 4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
Jesus begins His public ministry. When He starts He opens the Word of God to Isaiah and reads
Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
There are no condemning words. The religious leaders are shocked! Here is a man that claims to come from God, that claims to be God. He reads the Scripture and makes a great claim. He is the man Isaiah was talking about. But what shocks them more than anything is that He speaks gracious words.
Men are failures. Men have sinned. Religion tries to make a boast of being good. They try to look pleasing to God to the point that they fool even themselves. Jesus said God has sent me to those that religion would walk past and ignore.
He is here to preach to the poor. He will heal the broken hearted. He will set free those that are held captive by sin. He will cause the blind to see. Those that have been bruised, stomped on and destroyed by sin have hope. This is the acceptable year. God is here to completely and radically change your life.
I wonder, what kind of words do we use today? Do we tell people that God Himself has come that they might be saved and have new life? Do we preach grace that frees men from sin and death? Do we exhibit a spirit that says there is help for all those that are hurting?
I have not always been known for gracious words. I have been very hard on people in the past. I want to be more like Jesus. I want to speak gracious words. Don’t you?
This is not an ignoring of sin it is simply an explanation that only God can rescue from sin! There is no greater model for our ministry than Jesus. If He can start a ministry like that, with those goals, then so can we, with His help.
Offer gracious words today! Let people know that there is hope and that Jesus is that hope.