The Sabbath we’ve been discussing, described in Luke 4, gave Jesus the opportunity to announce who he was and why he had come into the world. When handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, he unrolled it and searched for the very words that would explain his purpose and his mission. In Isaiah there are plenty of passages that show the Lord as judging, angry or punishing. Jesus did not choose one these passages to reveal God’s heart toward the world. The closing phrase of Jesus’ mission statement captures God’s intention, “I came to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.” The year of the Lord’s favor, not the year of the Lord’s displeasure; favor, as in honor, acceptance, approval. Having made this announcement he rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant and sat down.
End of story. Or should I say beginning of story?
You can begin your day with the expectation of God’s favor going before you preparing the way. Every meeting you enter, every conversation you have, every errand you run, all brim-full with the goodness of God for you. Live in this truth and your attitude toward all that fills your day will be different. Your eyes will be opened to see God’s activity all around you.
In a football game I recently watched the quarterback got sacked, injuring the shoulder of his throwing arm. The commentators kept referring to the way he “favored his right arm” as evidence of the pain the injury caused him. To favor an injured body part means to treat it gently, to not put your full weight on it, to recognize it needs special attention in order to return to full capacity. God’s favor offers you such treatment. God knows you are injured, have been wounded, need to be protected from further harm and damage and has given you the power of the resurrected Jesus Christ to guard and to allow healing for your wounded soul and body.
I’ll talk more about living in the year of the Lord’s favor next time, but until then…
With you in the journey,