Luke 4:17-20 Is our Foundation scripture for this series.
When Jesus read this passage from Isaiah the prophet Isa 61:1-2, he spoke with such authority; he spoke as someone who fully contemplated exactly what he was saying. Jesus, was everything that this passage of scripture; that this prophecy foretold he would be.
He spoke with such passion and conviction that the listeners were astounded in such a manner, that as he moved through them to take his seat, they couldn’t take their eyes off of him. They whispered among themselves. Yet, they effectively knew what he would say next. His conviction was confirmed that the fulfilment of all they had heard was there before them.
Until he made the comparison to Elijah and Elisha the two great prophets they held dear, he seemed to have won them over. But, this tipped them over and all they could think of doing was to kill him; in their eyes he had committed the ultimate blasphemy; he’d kicked over their ‘sacred cows’; so to speak.
It is certainly true that the ministry of Jesus records him actually bringing physical sight to blind eyes; even creating eyes from the very dust of the ground in one case. As well as delivering those oppressed by the devil such as the daughter of Abraham bowed low, for 18 years, in the synagogue, on the Sabbath.
But, I also think that this section of that passage can address the metaphorical blindness of the religious groups, the Pharisees and the Saducees of the day, who were more intent in keeping the status quo; maintaining their position in the eyes and minds of the people of God; the Children of Promise.
The very Children of Abraham who had a Covenant, a Blood Covenant, in place, that the religious leaders should have been administering and maintaining for the same people that Jesus was healing and delivering. The Covenant of Promise that included provisions and administrations that should have seen the people living free. Instead, they were in bondage; even without the Roman oppression.
The more recent idiom: “There’s none so blind as Will not see.” draws heavily upon the words of the prophet Jeremiah; Jer 5:21 – “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” This would appear to outline the condition of the Sanhedrin that Jesus encountered.
They were more concerned with maintaining their control and their incomes to have this ‘Nazarene’ upset the applecart. But, not all were so. Nicodemus came to see Jesus privately, at night. But even he was unable to fully understand what Jesus had to say to him (John 3:1-21). The blindness had taken hold and even the godly walked in darkness.
Jesus was very prepared for all of this. He knew that without the Holy Spirit upon them, they would not be able to contemplate the light of the Gospel. This Good News that he had; that he was bringing; had to be spiritually discerned.
The advantage that the church has, in this day and age, is to be able to open up the bible and to be able to read all of these prophecy. To compare them. To trace the lines that connect the dots. Yet, even today, there are the children of God who walk in darkness; who have had the very light and its importance for their lives dimmed in their eyes.
Praise God, that the light is returning to its place of prominence in the life of the church. But, more importantly, in the very lives of believers everywhere. It is incumbent upon the body to pray for the opening of blind eyes and for freedom from religious oppression.
Maranatha! Even Now! Come Lord Jesus!
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