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Jesus’ Endgame Is Supreme

Categories:

Luke 4:16-30

3rd Sunday of Epiphany

1/20/22; 1/21/22; 1/23/22

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church—Beaver Dam, WI

 

Have any of you watched a movie or binge watched a TV series only to be disappointed in the end? The plot builds up all this excitement leaving you on the edge of your seat. The main character faces many ups and downs while battling against their enemy or some kind of problem. It leaves you guessing what will happen next. In the end though something just doesn’t make sense. The character does something not in line how they have been described all throughout the show or movie. The plot takes a turn leaving you scratching your head. The worse thing the series or movie ends on a cliff hanger but no sequel or new season is planned. The end just does not make sense. You leave wondering how they could ruin it. The endgame just makes no sense.

 

Jesus has an endgame in mind when it comes to his earthly ministry. It follows exactly why he came to this earth. Not everybody will understand it, nor want to accept it, but it is exactly what Jesus came into this world to do. Prophets foretold it. Jesus lived it. We rejoice in it.

 

Jesus’ Endgame Is Supreme

  1. A fulfillment of a prophecy.
  2. A hard truth to swallow.

 

The ministry of Jesus was still in its infancy. John baptized him in the Jordan River. There the voice from heaven confirmed Jesus’ work and authority. Before he would do any preaching, Jesus went into the wilderness. The devil tempted Jesus there. Three times he tried to trip Jesus up. Three times Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations. All of this was done for us. Jesus had to remain perfect not failing a single time in keeping the Law, so he could save us from our sins.

 

After Jesus’ temptation the cat got out of the bag. News about Jesus spread like wildfire. Jesus spent his time travelling. Every Sabbath he taught in synagogues. The people wanted to hear from him. His words came with power and authority. He explained the Scriptures in a clear way for the people to understand. In all of his work Jesus showed himself to be God’s Son.

 

Jesus headed to the city of Nazareth next. This would be a homecoming for Jesus. He grew up in this city. Mary and Joseph came to live here after they returned from Egypt. Jesus did not miss a beat. The Sabbath came, so Jesus went to the local synagogue. The attendants handed Jesus a scroll from which he would read. Jesus found this portion from the prophet Isaiah that read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

 

When he finished reading, Jesus rolled the scroll back up. The people sat on the edge of their seats. They waited to see what Jesus would say. Calmly Jesus sat down. He then said, “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). This prophecy from Isaiah referred to Jesus. God anointed Jesus at his baptism to go around preaching a message of freedom. To all the people living in the chains of sin, they would be free. To the people walking in the blindness of unbelief, Jesus gave sight to see the gospel message. The ones oppressed with fear and guilt would receive freedom.

 

This liberating message would be the central focus of Jesus’ entire ministry. His Word simply did not bring warm fuzzy feelings for his followers, but it brought life giving power among the listeners. Jesus came to proclaim his Word to a people imprisoned in sin. Jesus would undo that sin by his life, death, and resurrection here on earth. It all started with a prophecy.

 

We read that prophecy in Isaiah, but do we always see the meaning behind it? We were once imprisoned. We were once oppressed. We were once blind. It describes our condition by nature. We came into this world as enemies of our Lord and Savior. Our sins weighed us down. We needed to hear good news, because we only heard bad news at every turn.

 

Jesus came to proclaim that wonderful news. We call it the gospel message. The gospel message shows us the anointed Son of God in all his glory. He never sinned. His thoughts never turned away from putting God first in his life. His actions showed love even to the unlovable. His words did his Father’s bidding.

 

Then he went to the cross. On the cross he suffered and died so that we might be free. We escape the terrible curse of sin, because Jesus became a curse for us. The year of the Lord’s favor dawns upon us. We receive freedom from our sins.

 

It all was foretold in a prophecy. Jesus’ endgame was to do away with Satan’s rule over us. However, at times it is a hard pill to swallow for some.

 

As Jesus sat down in the synagogue that day, some people were amazed at his Word. Others couldn’t get something out of their mind. Jesus was Joseph’s son. They remembered seeing Jesus run around Joseph’s wood shop as a little child. They only saw Jesus as a loving Son coming home to see his mother. How could this one be the Savior of the world? How could he fulfill that prophecy? His endgame seemed so far fetched that no one would believe it.

 

Jesus became an offense to the people of Nazareth. It came to the point where they wanted to get rid of him. They drove Jesus out of the synagogue. They marched him out to a cliff. They wanted to throw him down to meet his death. This was not Jesus’ time. He walked through the middle of that.

 

What could cause such offense? Jesus proclaimed that he did not come simply for the Jews. Elijah went to a widow in Zarephath during the famine. Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian. The people focused so much on Jesus and what they saw that they did not see him as the Savior. They longed for Jesus to come and set up his earthly kingdom, but when he spoke about his heavenly work, they wanted nothing to do with him.

 

Jesus’ words still cause offense to people. We don’t like to think that we have a problem with sin. We want to think that we can handle it all ourselves. We boast of our freedoms from everything. We think it is not a big deal that we are oppressed by the devil and his legions.

 

We want the Savior to lead us to an easy life here on earth and provide riches here and now. We do not always want to be told that he only comes for the spiritual. It is a hard pill for us to swallow.

 

We might not like it, but we need it. We might not want to hear it, but we need his help. We might think we have it all ourselves, but we do not. We need the Anointed one to come and knock down our prideful thoughts and free us from the captives of sin. Our Savior comes to free us, and we will not want to get rid of him, but we will run to him for our help and aide.

 

Jesus’ endgame is exactly what we need in our life. It was all foretold by prophecy. He came to save us. He came to bring freedom to a world locked in sin. At times it is a hard pill for us to swallow. Human pride does not think we need him, but we really need him for all things. Jesus’ Endgame Is Supreme. Amen.

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