16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “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 liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:16-22
When we read the Scripture as followers of Jesus we may miss the moments that profoundly impacted the first audience to Jesus. The first audience on this day in Nazareth was astonished. Jesus had come home. The carpenter’s son was back. Taking his turn to read the Scripture in the synagogue he read a familiar text from Isaiah and he sat down.
What Jesus said next shocked them. “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus is saying, this is my mission. This is who I am. This is true of me. I am the Lord’s Servant. I am The One. Right now, right here. I have fulfilled this text.
“The Spirt of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good new to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Those who believed Jesus would never read the Scripture the same way. Now they saw Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Scripture. He is the author and finisher of their faith. The Scripture, His Scripture a gift from Him them points to Him. Jesus is the Suffering Servant completing God’s work for humanity. All history moves to its completion in Him.
Can’t Ever Read The Scripture the Same Way
They could never read the Scripture (the Old Testament) without the person of Jesus before, behind, and present in the text.
Peter, a follower of Jesus would write to the 2nd generation audience to Jesus’ words and identity of how they should read the text:
8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:8-12
Love for Jesus might not come first when one hears His word and hears His claim for identity as God. Its possible that we might shocked, argumentative and resistant. But when we believe, we read the text with Jesus as a word that finds its fulfillment in Him.