The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
If this isn’t a mic drop moment from Jesus, I don’t know what is.
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
How exciting though, this marks the beginning of his ministry to bring the darkened hearts of the people into the light.
When Jesus gets up to read he opens the book/scroll of Isaiah and it’s interesting to note that in Matthews account of this moment where Jesus begins to teach (Matt 4:12-17) he also links to Isaiah, just a different part.
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. – Isaiah 9:1,2
So far in Luke we have seen a fair few people brought into the light, realising that Jesus is God’s promised saviour. Zechariah. Elizabeth. Joseph. Mary. Simeon. Anna. John the Baptist. These are just the people that Luke included in his letter to Theophilus. Surely there are more people.
Some of them are even before Jesus was born, which just shows how anticipated he was. There were nearly 300 references to 61 specific prophesies that Jesus would have to fulfil. For those of you who like maths, a mathematics professor named Peter Stone once did a study with his students to calculate the probability of this happening. My brain kind of hurt as I read it but he brings it down to a few numbers that make sense. He starts with the chance of one man fulfilling 8 prophesies and works his way up to 48.1
|Number of Prophesies||Probability of one man fulfilling all of them|
|8||1 in 1017|
|16||1 in 1045|
|48||1 in 10157|
If you don’t understand scientific notation that’s a massive number. Expanded it’s 1 in 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
I’m not sure why he didn’t calculate it for all 61, but it certainly makes its point. It is pretty much impossible for one man to fulfil all the prophesies. God didn’t leave anything to chance. I think this is what Luke was trying to get across by giving evidence using the stories of witnesses who saw Jesus live and experienced him being the fulfilment – No one can make this stuff up.
We can truly believe that Jesus is the light that came into our darkness to bring us out of it. And for those of us that have been brought into the light we can continue to marvel at the lengths God went to save us.
Heart: Remember that God is Sovereign. He has everything in control. How many times did the Israelites doubt God would send a saviour? Did he fail? Nope. He’s got you.
Hands: Who can you be ‘Luke for the Theophilus’ in your life? We can show people who don’t know him the evidence that Jesus was and still is the saviour that God promised us in the Old Testament and that He is a saviour that they need as well.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for gifting us with logic and maths. More so thank you that we can use it to give weight to your Gospel. Thank you for Luke and his heart to tell people of your light. Help us to follow his example and show the unbelievers in our lives that they truly can trust in you. Amen
A song to listen to: How Deep