Pastor Rebecca Shatswell
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
– Luke 4:17-21
In today’s devo, Rebecca invites us to observe and consider Jesus’ inaugural address, given at His hometown of Nazareth, after His temptation in the wilderness. Jesus comes in the power of the Holy Spirit, reads these powerful promises, and declares that He will fulfill all of them. While at first filled with awe at the words and the power with which Jesus spoke to them, the people of Nazareth quickly return to a place of familiarity, remembering His human history, disarming Him of His supernatural power.
With the people of Nazareth feeling entitled to “proof,” Jesus laments that they will see no sign because God does not respond to entitlement, but to humble faith. And the final result of Jesus’ first sermon? Starting in awe, but quickly degrading to disbelief and entitlement, the people of Nazareth, manipulated by the enemy, lead Jesus to a cliff, intending to throw Him off. And at that moment, Jesus settles once and for all that He would guide His ministry by the fear of the Lord and not the fear of man.
Question: Where has your familiarity with Jesus robbed Him of His power in your life? Where have you let the fear of man guide your life rather than the fear of the Lord?
Family Chat: Did you know that when you read the Bible—God's Word—you are having a conversation with Him, and He is talking to you?
Take Action: Repent! Each of the questions above reveal how the enemy tricks you out of experiencing the power of God; so, wherever you answered positively, turn from that mindset, acknowledge that is not who you are, and receive the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus purchased for you on the cross. Then take a moment and worship God, remembering that He is omnipotent and you are not, and that He is all-wise, and you are not.
Prayer Starter: “Jesus, thank You for who You are: my savior, my deliverer, my healer, and my redeemer! I choose today to submit my way to Your way, my will to Your will.”