As was his custom
“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. “ Luke 4:16
We will be reading this passage on Sunday in conjunction with our other epiphany passages. Luke 4 is one of the great passages of the New Testament for it begins to answer the question, “Why Jesus?” Though the passage is short, it reveals a lot about Jesus. From this we learn that regular worship of God was a part of Jesus’ life. Just as solitary prayer was regular, so too was communal worship. He went to synagogue “as was his habit.”
On this Sabbath he does not just reveal that he participates in normal Jewish life, but he also reveals why he has come. Quoting Isaiah, Jesus says, “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Furthermore he says that the passage has been fulfilled in their hearing of it. God has anointed Jesus to do those good works.
During Epiphany we focus on God’s self revelation. God is revealed to the Gentiles when the magi come, God is revealed to the Jews when Jesus was baptized, today God is revealed through the Hebrew bible. God’s self revelation is what we build our faith on. My prayer that God continues to reveal God’s self to you. That you might come to know again and again the many facets of the good news of Jesus.
May we all be so transformed into Christ’s image, that we, filled with the Holy Spirit can also say that God’s spirit rests on us to do the same good work. Being a Christian includes imitating Christ. It means bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor. May we live lives worth imitating as we imitate Christ.