eMeditation on the
was the special work that God sent Jesus to do?
4:14-21, summarized and paraphrased)
After Jesus had been
baptized and then tested in the desert, he announced his special work for God
by going to a synagogue (a place of worship and teaching) on a day that people
gathered to learn about God. Since he had already begun to teach people about
God and was becoming famous, he was invited to read to the people from the
Bible and teach. Jesus read from one of the great promises of God to send a
special servant to bring the kingdom (rule) of God to the human family.
According to God’s promises, from the beginning God planned for humans to
become a community of social harmony, justice and flourishing well-being. The
promise of God that Jesus read to the people on that day explained that God’s
special servant will bring good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners, sight
for the blind, and liberation from exploitation and oppression. Then Jesus sat
down to teach. He looked into the eyes of the people and told them that he was
the special servant sent by God to accomplish God’s plan for the human family.
Jesus said, “Today this promise of God is coming true as you listen.”
Jesus’ announcement in
the synagogue at the beginning of his career revealed God’s goal for the human
family: to bring an end to everything on earth that is contrary to the God’s
core values, which are based on self-giving love. Thus, through Jesus, God
began to fulfill God’s promise to defeat self-centered competition for power
and control that produces the exploitation,
oppression and violence of terrorism; wars, poverty, and corruption; and all
the many evils that afflict the human family.
We learn important lessons about God and a
relationship with God when we meditate on the fact that Jesus was the special
servant God sent to bring the kingdom/rule of God to the human family. We learn
that God does not defeat evil by coercion, force or overwhelming power.
Instead, as God’s special servant, Jesus brings the rule of God’s love to human
(1) showing us what God’s self-giving love is
like though his life and teachings;
(2) providing forgiveness of all our faults
through his sacrificial death on the cross; and
(3) inviting us to enter God’s family as sons
and daughters of our heavenly father.
When we follow Jesus as God’s authority over
our lives, we are enabled to live according to God’s self-giving love through
the power of God’s Spirit deep within us connecting us to God. As God’s family
grows throughout the world, the power of God’s love transforms more and more
hearts and the rule of God increasingly overcomes evil. Ultimately, the final
victory of God’s love will transform the human family into the community of
social harmony, justice and flourishing well-being that God planned for
humanity from the beginning.
Respond by Growing
God invites you to partner with God in the
Divine Plan for the human family to become a community ruled by self-giving
love. The liberation of the human family from self-centeredness can continue
with you. Live in harmony with heaven: (1) follow Jesus as God's authority
over your life; (2) study his life and teachings in the Bible; (3)
and live according to God’s core family values, which are based on the
self-giving love that Jesus revealed to us.