01272019 Epiphany 3/4 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

01272019 Epiphany 3/4 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

January 27, 2019
“Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

Sermon Audio

Have you ever walked into a store in a small town and heard instead of the expected, “Welcome” or “Hello” that most people barrage us with, the most unusual question, “What’s the good news?”  Having been raised in small town america and also living on the plains of northwest Kansas, this type of question was common. It was common, simply because of the friendly nature of some of the townspeople, both because I grew up in the rural South, but also, because the people’s perspective was rooted in the Bible.  And we all know that all of Holy Scripture points to the truth that “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

Jesus Christ in our Gospel this morning modeled for Christians today two different things.  First, what every good Jew did of going to the synagogue for prayer on the Sabbath. In our culture this is challenged, because of sports activities, school practices and other challenges that our 21st Century culture has created.  Yet, for Jesus, attending worship on the Sabbath was of primary importance. Second, Jesus didn’t go to the synagogue to be entertained or be a ‘consumer’, Jesus went to serve and be a part of the service. This helps to flesh out our belief that “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

When the scroll for that day’s service was given unto Him, Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah, who by divine inspiration nearly 700 years prior had written these words to the Israelite people.  So clear was the message that it not only foreshadowed, but pointed to the Messiah. And now, in their midst, in the sight of those who came to the synagogue in the to pray, the Word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah was read by the Messiah.  For it was Jesus Christ Who had the Spirit of the Lord upon Him. When John had baptized Jesus the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and anointed Him for the sole purpose that the Messiah would “proclaim good news to the poor.  [God - 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, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  This is the promise that Jesus was there to fulfill.  It not only was for them in the synagogue, but “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

“The year of the Lord’s favor” prophesied by Isaiah is for we who gather here at Emmanuel today.  For we also have heard today the Good News of Jesus Christ today. In our sight, and in our hearing, God desires for us to hear again the Word of the Lord and to proclaim the Good News for all of mankind.  We who gather here today are called to “proclaim liberty to the captives” through the ministry we are called to fulfill here at Emmanuel and for our community.  Yes, “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News” and we in turn are called to proclaim that same Good News for others.

Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Messianic message of the Holy Scriptures from Isaiah, and we who come this morning are called to fulfill for our world today the truth that Jesus models for us this same message of God’s love for us and for all of mankind.  We are called to take this message, the Word of God to the streets, the corners and even utilizing our phones to call people and help bring them to the church to hear that “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”

What Jesus Christ read in the scroll from Isaiah, wasn’t just a ‘rolled up sheep or goat skin’, it was the message that the people of Israel had been looking for since the time of creation, the fall, the Kingdom of Israel and especially from the prophet Isaiah.  We who gather here today, with Bibles in the pew rack in front of us, on our electronic devices and even given to prisoners who are incarcerated have heard a message meant for the Jews, applied by Jesus in the synagogue and meant to help us today to understand that we are the recipients today of a timeless message of grace, forgiveness and truth.  What we hear today is a message pointing to what was fulfilled by Jesus Christ and meant to set we His children free because of what the “Good News” actually is for us and for all of mankind.

‘Good News’ comes from a Greek word, euangelion, translated simply, “Gospel”.  What Jesus came to proclaim for us and for all of mankind is the Gospel. The Gospel of what He would fulfill, not only in the synagogue, but especially on the Cross of Calvary where He spilled His Blood and died and set each of us free from sin, death and the devil.  What we have heard here today is not just a ‘greeting’, like ‘hello’, but Jesus Christ looking at each and every one of us in our very souls and hearing from Him the forgiveness we so desperately need. For today in our sight Jesus has again fulfilled His mission when we believe His message of love and forgiveness offered for us and all of mankind when we believe that “Jesus came to proclaim to us the Good News!”  AMEN.