March 28, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Jesus is in Nazareth where He was raised. As His habit was, He attended the Synagogue on a particular Sabbath day. Whereupon He was given the book of Isaiah wherein He read this:
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. (Luke 4:18-19)
In Isaiah 61:1-2 that passage reads; The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God... Notice for a moment the last phrase that is underlined. Jesus did not read that part. Why?
Notice something very important, in Luke after He read the words To preach the acceptable year of the Lord, He stopped. He did not read and the day of vengeance of our God. He also said something further that explains it all. He said …This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:21) It is understandable that there is a bunch of Scripture here to consider in such a short devotion. But it’s important and this is why.
Jesus proclaimed that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when Jesus read those words in the Synagogue in Nazareth. In those few words the Lord outlined His earthly ministry, saying they were fulfilled. However, He stopped before getting to the words and the day of vengeance of our God because that part was yet to come, not yet fulfilled
All of this has been reviewed to prove this one point. Jesus did not come to earth at that time to bring His vengeance. That time is yet to come, that prophecy of Isaiah has not been fulfilled. Therefore, let us not preach, proclaim, or pronounce Christ’s vengeance today. There will be a day for it, but not now. Now is time 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.
I leave you with the words of Paul that had something to say about this issue:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Amen and amen!
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.