What does the Gospel of Luke tell us about Jesus and his mission and what he came to do for us? Many skeptics question the reliability and accuracy of the Gospel accounts of Jesus. Luke tells us that his account is utterly believable because it comes from firsthand witnesses (Luke 1:2) who knew Jesus personally, heard him teach, saw his miracles, and witnessed his atoning death on the cross and his rising from the tomb to everlasting life
The "good news" of Jesus brings new life and freedom
The word "gospel" literally means "good news." The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ and the new life and freedom he has won for us through his atoning death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection to everlasting life and glory with the Father in heaven. The Gospel is the all-powerful and all-merciful word of God for us today as much as it was for the people who first heard it in Jesus' time. It's a life-giving word that has supernatural power to change, transform, and bring freedom and healing to those who accept it as the living word of God.
Luke tells us that Jesus was about 30 years of age when he began his public ministry. Right after Jesus was baptized by John and anointed by the Spirit at the River Jordan, he spent 40 days in the wilderness to devote himself to prayer and fasting. At the end of this period of spiritual preparation and testing, Luke tells us that Jesus "returned in the power of the Spirit to his own land of Galilee". Jesus chose to begin his public ministry in Galilee first, rather than in Jerusalem, the holy city and temple of God. This was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-2.
Luke tells us that Jesus chose to publicly announce his mission in the synagogue at Nazareth. The people there were familiar with Jesus since it was his custom to regularly attended the weekly Sabbath service. Jesus was also known by many in Nazareth as a "carpenter" and "son of Joseph". When the president of the synagogue called on Jesus to read from the book of the prophet Isaiah, Jesus chose to read Isaiah's description of what the Messiah would do when he came to restore God's kingdom for the people of Israel:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Isaiah 61:1-2).
The Lord Jesus speaks this same word to each of us today - he comes to bring us healing and restoration, pardon and freedom from the oppression of sin, despair, hopelessness, and destruction. Do you believe his word with expectant faith and trust, or with doubt and indifference? The Lord will not refuse to pour out his Spirit on all who trust in him. Ask the Lord Jesus to renew in you the joy of the Gospel and the freedom to live each day with trusting faith, joyful hope, and fervent love.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Please remember the pancake breakfast weekend after all Masses – February 6th and 7th in the parish hall. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring this event.