January 26

Luke 4:14-17a

“Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.” vs. 14

When the Spirit connected with Jesus in a divine epiphany on the day of his baptism it wasn’t just a momentary experience. This dove had come to hang around! The power of the Spirit remained and continued to give support during the time in the wilderness. What could have been a devastating encounter with the Evil One turned out to be a blessing. In those forty days Jesus was able to sort out priorities and figure out his calling. He emerged with passion in his heart and a determination to carry out his messianic mission. Not surprisingly, he headed back to his home territory. He knew the grinding poverty there and the way the poor were being exploited by the rich. He’d seen first hand the heavy hand of the occupying Roman armies and had heard the cries of the hungry. He came with good news…the Kingdom of God was at hand…and he received a hearty welcome throughout the surrounding country. People were ready for liberation and they heard in Jesus’ voice a compassion that came straight from the heart of God. Jesus preached in synagogues and healed the sick, and daily the crowds grew larger. The least and the lost flocked to him…and he didn’t let them down. The Spirit was his guide and his strength.

Thought for the Day: How does the Spirit strengthen me?

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