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Thankfulness and Thankfulness

It was a joy to spend some time meditating with you all on Psalm 61. Wait! I mean Isaiah 61. I must say it was humbling to realize that I had been saying the wrong scripture reference for the first ten minutes of the sermon. However, that was nothing compared to how humbled and grateful Debra and I were to receive such an encouraging card and so many heartfelt sentiments of thankfulness from all of you two weeks ago. We were truly surprised, and we were blown away by your generosity. Thank you!

Today I would like to point out that as I read the passage from Isaiah 61, many of you were thinking about Luke 4. In Luke 4:16-19, Jesus stands up in the synagogue in his hometown and reads from Isaiah 61. You should go read Luke 4:16-30. I’ll wait… 

Are you back? In this passage, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue. Then he sits down, and declares to all who were gathered there, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” This is a breathtaking declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ himself that reveals his own concept of his identity, his joy, his mission, our mission, and our joy. Jesus wanted them to know that He had come to inaugurate a new people of God who would rebuild what the Jews had torn down. Jesus wanted them to know that he had come to inaugurate a new Kingdom of Priests and a new Holy Nation. 

Sadly, the people of Jesus’ own hometown tried to kill him in response. Why? Because he was asserting his own authority to save whomever he wills. He was saying that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, Jew or Gentile. He was declaring himself worthy to do something new in the history of salvation. That is, Jesus was declaring himself to have all the prerogatives of Yahweh himself to choose Israel out of Egypt and Abraham out of Ur. In essence, the people of Nazareth knew the book of Isaiah and they knew all that Jesus was claiming. They knew that he was claiming even equality with Yahweh.

This biblical truth carries the power of the Holy Spirit to change your life. If indeed you will repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find that this truth makes you overwhelmingly thankful. At least, that is what it does for me. I am profoundly thankful for the depth and breadth of the Scriptures’ revelation of our Lord Jesus. I am profoundly thankful that the revelation is not simple or trite. It is not silly or superficial. The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ contained in the Scriptures is deep and layered and poetic and profound. It defies attempts at imitation. It accomplishes what it was sent to do. May it accomplish faith in you.

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Charles