To Whom Will We Take The Good News? by Steve Patton
"And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:17-19)
Jesus begins his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. Respect for Jesus is shown by the Rabbi asking him to speak in the synagogue. The passage from Isaiah is applied to His planned work. He is going to those the Jews would never consider worthy of their interest - the disenfranchised of society - the poor, the prisoner, the chronically sick and handicapped - believed to be sinners judged by God by their station or disease. They deserved their fate. Jesus uses this prophetic passage to show these would be the center of His work. He would take God’s good news to them, showing they, too, could be acceptable to God. He would continue his sermon, pointing out their hypocrisy in refusing to go to these needy ones. Jesus' words enraged the Jews and they sought to kill Him.
Jesus is teaching us a lesson that is emphasized in Luke - the Gospel is truly for everyone. Christianity was never meant to be a religion of the middle class. He made no distinction. Whether a Samaritan leper, a hated Roman soldier's servant, or the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter, Jesus reached out to everyone to affirm God’s love for all.
We are not to judge who is acceptable to God. We must not judge who is suitable for the gospel and who is not. See every person as possessing a soul worthy of salvation. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.” Let’s open our eyes to all souls and take to heaven with us as many as we can. God expects no less.