Early in Christ’s ministry He had a unique opportunity to proclaim His meaning and message. He tied His own ministry to the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3. Jesus reminds us that the proclamation of the gospel should never be obscure. It must always ring with a clear and simple message of eternal truth.
A proclamation explains the meaning of God’s Word for the present audience. The desire of Christ was to encourage all those who were listening to Him. His words resonated in the temple then and in our hearts today. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him.” – Luke 4:18-19 (The Living Bible)
To paraphrase His teachings I suggest this expression, “let’s not just talk the talk but let’s walk the walk.” His was a message of commitment and action.
Another man of faith said it a little different way, “ Go into all the world and preach the gospel, and, if necessary, use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi
I recently read a little story that aptly challenges us to model the message of the teachings found in
Luke 4. It was a cold New York December day just before Christmas. A little boy, who was about 10 years old, was standing in front of a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the big plate-glass window, and shivering with cold. An older lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” The young boy responded, “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes.”
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of warm socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of hot water and a dry towel. By the time the clerk had returned with the socks the lady had scrubbed the lads feet clean. After carefully drying each toe she placed the socks and a comfortable pair of new shoes upon the boy’s feet. “How does that feel?” asked the little old lady. “Just fine”, exclaimed the boy.
She patted him on the head, put the extra socks in a bag and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?” As she paid for the merchandize and turned to leave the little boy caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question she posed with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”
Our deeds of kindness and encouragement of others means a great deal to those who are downhearted, troubled, and in need of a blessing. How can God use you and me this week to bless someone?
— Dr. James E. Grassi