January 22

Luke 4:14-16

“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.” vss. 16-17a

Synagogues began to be built in the towns of Galilee and Judea just prior to the time that Jesus began his ministry. They were places of prayer and study and for the reading and exposition of scripture. Jesus was familiar with the synagogue in Nazareth and Luke tells us that on the sabbath he attended as usual. When he stood up to read, the scroll of Isaiah was given to him. By this time the scriptures had become holy for the Jews and people believed that a careful reading of them could reveal God’s will. It seems that Jesus was quite familiar with Isaiah and saw in its passages a message from the Spirit of God. Some of us have had similar experiences, and a few have been moved by scripture to redirect the focus of their lives. That’s one of the reasons we keep reading the bible. It’s our community’s book, and in its pages we can see how our faith ancestors have wrestled with the big questions of existence. We may not agree with all that is said–we know a lot more about science and history than did its writers–but the good news at its core has enormous significance for anyone trying to live well in our confusing and complex world.

Thought for the Day: What messages have I received from the bible?

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