In Luke 4, after we read of Jesus’s temptations in the wilderness,
we see him returning to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit”
(v. 14). News about him began spreading throughout the countryside.
He began appointing apostles and teaching in synagogues
and ministering to people in need. He went to his hometown of
Nazareth, and on the Sabbath, he spoke those famous words we
looked at earlier from the book of Isaiah about who he was and
why he’d come:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
And then, with everyone’s eyes “fastened on him” (v. 20),
he rolled up the scroll on which that prophecy was printed and
sat down. After which everyone spoke well of him, saying how
“amazed” (v. 22) they were by his words.
What I want you to catch is that after Jesus made it successfully
through his trials and temptations, he was able to join
his heavenly Father in kingdom-oriented work. The same is true
for us. As we stand firm against the schemes of Satan, choosing
truth instead of fallacy, kindness instead of anger, and forgiveness
instead of revenge, we free ourselves up to move ahead with what
God has called us to do. Not to steal the next chapter’s thunder,
but that mission has a lot to do with love. It’s tough to love people
we can’t find room in our hearts to forgive, after all, which is why
the sequence is what it is.
When we walk around eager to extend forgiveness, we
become the most loving versions of ourselves we’ve ever been.
Why? Because we’ve released the burden of putting people who
hurt us in their places. We’ve turned that burden over to God
and are trusting him to take things from there. We don’t have
to join the Enemy in his mission to divide and destroy our lives,
a mission that’s destined for destruction in the end. We can go
a different way.