On a day where we are encouraged to remember those who have given their lives to secure our freedom – for which we are indeed grateful, pastor Barry calls us also to remember the One who gave His life while we were yet sinners to secure our freedom, to set the captives free and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!
In Luke’s gospel Jesus is seen living a life ‘let by the Spirit’. It would serve us well to remember that everything Jesus did was led by the Spirit, in the power of the Spirit. If our lives are to be effective as Christians, we too must be filled with the Spirit and be led by the Spirit.
As Jesus returns to Galilee from His baptism by John in the Jordan, he comes to Nazareth and on the Sabbath day is given the opportunity to preach in the Synagogue – the same synagogue He had no doubt attended many times as a boy growing up in that town.
He is passed the scroll of Isaiah and reads from Isaiah 61:1-2, declaring that is the fulfilment of Isaiah’s words – but omits the last part of the sentence! It was the acceptable year of the Lord, but was not yet the day of vengeance of God – there is an interval of almost two thousand years between the first part of Isaiah 61:2 and the second part. The sentence in Isaiah jumps straight from the time of Jesus’ first coming, to the time of His Second Coming – when it will be ‘the day of vengeance of God’!
There are actually 24 of these ‘dispensational gaps’ in scripture that seem – intentionally – to omit the Church Age.
In Luke 19, the ‘prophetic clock’ stopped ticking for the Jews on Palm Sunday as Jesus rode into Jerusalem and Jesus pronounces national blindness upon Israel (Luke 19:42) for missing the day it had been prophesied the Messiah would come. That blindness will last until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (Romans 11:25). We are now in the ‘Church age’ when God is grafting gentiles into the olive tree (see Romans Ch 11).
Once ‘the fullness of the Gentiles has come in’, all Israel will be saved (Acts 15:14-16) and the clock will start ticking again.
In Luke chapter 4 we see Jesus – in the power of the Spirit – heal the sick, set captives free and fulfil in actions the words of Isaiah 61:1-2. This should have been enough to convince all that He was the Messiah.
The lesson here is that if we believe Jesus is the Messiah, we will bring our sick loved ones to Him, continually bringing them before His throne, believing in faith that He will heal and deliver them from the clutches of the enemy.
Jesus should be the very first one we turn to, not as is so often the case, our last resort!
Do we believe Jesus has the power to heal today? Do we believe He is the same, yesterday, today and forever? Do we believe He can set our loved ones free?
If we do we will pray in faith, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:15).
This is something we ought to remember!