Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 1:46-55, 4:16-21, 7:18-23, Matt. 12:15-21, Matt. 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-19, Isa. 53:3-6.
Memory Text: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:18, 19, NKJV).
Among other reasons for His incarnation, Jesus came to show us what God is like. He did this by His teaching, by His sacrifice, and by His life; that is, by how He interacted with ordinary people. Many of His actions made immediate, real-world changes in the lives of others.
This aspect of the Messiah’s ministry had been predicted by the Old Testament prophets, by Jesus’ mother Mary, and even by Jesus Himself when He defined His mission in His first recorded sermon (Luke 4). In addition, the Gospel writers often used the language of the Old Testament prophets to explain what Jesus was doing as they narrated His story. In this way, Jesus’ life was seen clearly in the tradition of these prophets, including their compassion for the poor and oppressed.
The religious leaders, however, perceived Jesus as a threat. In a horrible example of injustice and cruelty, they had Jesus arrested, unjustly tried, and crucified. In Jesus, God knows what injustice feels like—and, in His death, He exposed the horror of evil. In His resurrection, though, He triumphed for life, goodness, and salvation.