14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. News about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue as he usually did. He stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. Jesus unrolled it and found the right place. There it is written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to announce the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to set free those who are treated badly. 19 And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free.” (Isaiah 61:1,2) 20 Then Jesus rolled up the scroll. He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were staring at him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this passage of Scripture is coming true as you listen.” 22 Everyone said good things about him. They were amazed at the gracious words they heard from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
There is contrast here between the two identities of Jesus. He is the son of God who has just resisted Satan in the desert and been filled with the Spirit of God; yet he is one of their community, known since birth as the son of Joseph the carpenter. Jesus returned to Galilee from the desert ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’s power’. He taught in the synagogues and it says He was praised by everyone and everyone spoke well of Him. In his home town of Nazareth Jesus read a prophesy about the coming messiah from Isaiah, and then basically said “this is me, today”. No wonder people were amazed; how can this be? He is just Jesus – Joseph’s son.
The main thing that strikes me is that it was the power of the Holy Spirit that enabled Jesus to speak with such authority and impress the people so greatly. There seems to be the implication that something had changed in Jesus after he returned from the desert filled with the Spirit, suddenly everyone took notice of Him and his teaching.
I believe that this is also possible for us today. If we go to a quiet place and seek God, asking him to help us resist the temptation to find a dozen other things to fill our minds; then he will send a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. We can go out from there and be much more effective in our ministries and interactions with people. They will see not only the person they know, but a glimpse of God in us. That is what I want in my life: for the people I meet to meet Jesus through His Spirit in me.
Today I ask for Gods help to give me the peace and concentration to meet with Him and refuel. To receive his power to overcome my frailty and restless humanity.
Lord God please give us the peace today to seek your face and be filled afresh with your Holy Spirit, which brings us to life. Amen
Written by Dimity Milne