Text: Luke 4:14-21;
Many organizations, profit or not-for-profit, have a Mission Statement. In 50 words or less, they seek to sum up exactly their reason for existence and what they hope to accomplish while they’re around. It may take several meetings for some consensus to come about and lots of wordsmithing usually ensues.
I’ve always loved this passage from the Gospel of Luke in part because when I saw the TV miniseries from what seems like forever ago, “Jesus of Nazareth,” the powerful image of Jesus reading from this scroll from the book of Isaiah and what appears to be all the people of Nazareth are gathered around. They listen intently to the words Jesus reads from centuries ago …
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor
He has sent me to proclaim release to the capitves and recovery of sight to the blind
To let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’s favour.
The men and women wait expectantly to hear the comment that Jesus will make on this Scripture that is meant to inspire and fill us with hope, and after he kisses the scroll, he says
Today, in your hearing, the Scripture has been fulfilled.
With this short passage and short phrase, Jesus reveals his Mission Statement, and that statement is not just a hope for what he wishes to accomplish, but that hope of all the People of God, in him and through him, has become a reality.