Thursday, July 31, 2014


An effective leader doesnt just say what others ought to do, but shows what leaders do.  Jesus shows us in Luke chapter four THE COURSE OF OUR SERVICE.  We do what Jesus did. 
As He embarks on His public ministrythree and one half years that changed the worldHe was active as Gods spokesman and soldier.  He shared the Gospel and He stood His ground. 
Jesus COMMUNICATED THE WORD (Luke 4:18b-21).  We see the words, preach and proclaim (twice).  He had a Word to declare.
·         It would be a message of good news to the poor, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor.”  None are so low the Gospel cannot reach them.

·         It would be a message of healing for the grieving, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.”   None are so brokenhearted that the Word cannot mend them.

 ·         It would be a message of liberty to those in bondage, To proclaim liberty to the captives.”  None are so enslaved that the truth cannot free them. 

·         It would be a message that brought light to the blind, And recovery of sight to the blind.”  None are so blind that God’s light cannot restore them.

 ·         It would be a message of deliverance to the oppressed, To set at liberty those who are oppressed,” None are so burdened that God’s promises cannot lift them.
What Jesus said was in the context of the Jewish Year of Jubilee.
And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.  Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.   And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.  That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.  For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.  And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another.  According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you.  According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops.  Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.  (Leviticus 25:8-17)
Christ said His message was, To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”  Jesus is our Jubilee—the fulfillment in His New Covenant what was prefigured under the Old Covenant.

What Christ communicated is the same message Christian leaders today need to declare.  Our message can inspire those we lead to rise above their circumstances and become all God means for them to be. 
But you will soon discover that plenty of people are opposed to the light.  They dont want the Gospel for the poor, because in their pride they wont admit their spiritual bankruptcy.   Rather than embracing the pain of a broken heart and seeking the Healer, they callus their heart to shut out the pain.  Such refuse to admit their slavery, proclaiming their liberation.  They hide from the light because they dont want to see the dirt on their soul.  These reject the idea of needing help for their burdens asserting their independence.   Their mocking attitude was addressed by Jesus,
He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!  Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ”  Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.  (Luke 4:23-24)
People seemed impressed as a first response, but then took a second look.
Jesus, in His leadership then not only communicated the Word, He COMBATED THE WICKED (Luke 4:22-30). 
·         Some of these wicked opponents were the skeptical, So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.  And they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’ ” (Luke 4:22).  There are always those who want to make Jesus only a good man.  We must fight that error.  It is when you say Jesus is the only Way and we must bow to Him that people will reject you.

·         There are also the hateful. 

But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”  So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.  Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. (Luke 4:25-30) 

 They wanted to kill Him already!   Jesus illustrated from Scripture two instances where the Jews rejected Gods work and Gentiles instead received the miracle.  This was like throwing a lit match into a gas can!  Truth can be incendiary!
But a man is immortal until his lifework is done.  Jesus would dienot by being thrown down a hill, but raised up on one in crucifixion.  He would die according to the will of the Father and not the whims of men.  What a picture of Jesusnot some delicate, effeminate Christ of medieval portraitsbut a muscular man pushing the mob aside as He marched threw their gauntlet of fury. 

Like Jesus we need men who will take a stand no matter the costmen of courage and conviction.  We are following the footsteps of Jesus when this is the activity we conduct.  This is the course of our service.


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