Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Believer's Job Description

Today is day 4 of our 11th week, reading the Bible through in a year together.  Our scriptures today are Numbers 34-36 and Luke 4.

In our Luke passage, Jesus tries to do some ministry in his hometown of Nazareth.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
 20 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. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

This is another example of Jesus' constant message, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."  God's Kingdom comes, not because Jesus is the one and only who has emerged to proclaim good news to the poor, but because His followers also take that job description for themselves.  God's Kingdom comes when each of us understands our anointing to proclaim liberty to the captives.  God's Kingdom arrives on this earth as we follow the Lord's command to restore the sight of the blind and set at liberty those who are oppressed.  We participate in the advent of Christ's Kingdom when we proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Yes, Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy.  But we continue to fulfill it today when we take up our cross and follow Him.  Sometimes you'll be loved and appreciated because of this, as Jesus was:

22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?”

Other times, you may be rejected by those same people, even as Jesus was:

29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

But either way, whether you're well thought of, or whether you're rejected, you're in God's hands.  Your job description as a believer isn't to make sure that everyone likes you.  It's to preach the Kingdom and usher it in by participating in Christ's ministry.  This is what we mean when we pray, "Thy Kingdom come."  We mean that we want God's Kingdom to come through us as we do His will, even as the angels do it in heaven. 

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