In the Power of The Spirit

Scripture Reading: Luke 4:14-30; SOAP / Luke 4:18–19

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19 NET

In our most recent post, we read about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by the devil. Today’s encounter picks up sometime after His encounter with the devil, and it made me stop and think and appreciate Luke’s writing even more and Jesus’ life on earth just a little differently than I have before. Today’s passage, revealing yet another Jesus encounter as God in the flesh, caught my attention. Here’s what captivated my mind – as though I had never read it before. Picture it with me, this young man is God in the flesh and yet we’ve seen word pictures of His birth announcement, His circumcision, His presentation to the LORD at the temple, His baptism, and, what I can only imagine, was a grueling temptation by the devil in the wilderness. This brings us to today’s word-picture of Jesus, God in the flesh, being led by the Spirit of God, dedicated to God, Father for His life’s purpose. We so often focus on the price Christ paid on the cross, and rightfully so; However, as I look at these other encounters He endured on our behalf my heart is moved even more at what it cost Him to leave His place with the Father to die for us. Going through rituals meant for sinners, enduring temptations, mockery, insults, and all that we will witness moving forward may appear to be easy for this man who was God – but let us not lose sight of the fact that He was a man, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law. He felt pain, cried tears, sweat great drops of blood, worked hard, faced temptations, comforted the hurting, dealt with hunger, and needs just like us and He knew from the beginning that He was born to suffer and die a horrendous death that He did not deserve to die.

Following the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus, “in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee” and began to teach in the synagogues. This encounter finds Him in His hometown of Nazareth where He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He opened the scroll to a specific place and read, ironically – but not mistakenly, about Himself to the people – telling them that He was sent to:

  • proclaim good news to the poor
  • proclaim release to the captives
  • restore sight to the blind
  • set free those who are oppressed, and
  • to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
    • It might be helpful to stop here for a minute and explain what is meant by “the year of the Lord’s favor”. From what I read and understand, the statement describes not a particular year or literal time but a space of time that is characterized by God’s grace, redemption, and deliverance. In its original use by Isaiah it is said to specifically refer to the restoration of God’s people from Babylonian captivity. In it’s reference here in Luke 4:21 it is specific to Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 through the reading of the Scripture.*

The people would have been familiar with the passage as it was from the prophet Isaiah, a passage they no doubt had heard or read often. However, when He had rolled the scroll back up He said to them,

“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled, even as you heard it being read.”

Luke 4:20 NET

This subtle announcement led to more conversation and filled the crowd with rage. Despite their rage and plans to throw Him down the cliff, Jesus was able to pass through the crowd and go on His way.

A Response to God’s Word

Thank You Jesus, for coming to set me free from spiritual captivity, blindness, and oppression – for apart from You there would be no way for me to come to the Father. Thank You for Your willingness to suffer not just on the cross but in this world for sins you did not commit. Thank You for Your Spirit within me, so that I can carry on Your work living as Your witness, and answering Your call on my life to encourage, equip, and empower others with Your Word. praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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*For more insight on “The year of the Lord’s favor, visit

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