We are told in the fourth chapter of Luke's Gospel that at the beginning of his ministry Christ Jesus returned to the scene of his childhood home and, "as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read." When he was handed the ancient scroll of the prophet Esaias (or Isaiah, as we know him), "he found the place where it was written, 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."

After he had returned the book to the minister, the Biblical account continues, "he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." He knew, and he wanted his listeners to know, that at that very moment the Scripture was fulfilled and even in that hour they themselves could receive infinite blessings.

The invitation to read in the synagogue did not come as a surprise to Jesus, since the custom of the day and place was know to him. There apparently was no hesitancy in his acceptance of the invitation, for he knew that he was prepared to evidence forth his appointment. It is as if he had said, "This day I come to you as the fulfillment of God's anointing, and therefore I come with authority and the conviction that I, of mine own self, can do nothing." Indeed, the very act of his standing up "for to read" was an acknowledgment of the importance of the message that he had to give.

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July 25, 1953

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