(Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21) As Jesus begins His public ministry, it doesn’t take long for word of His power and wisdom to spread. He teaches in the synagogues throughout the Galilean region and many are impressed with what they hear. It’s only when He arrives in Nazareth that things begin to change. As He reads from the words of the prophet Isaiah, Jesus boldly sets out His plan, the purpose of His coming. In doing so, He reveals that He is the Promised One, the fulfillment of all that Isaiah prophesied. Through Jesus, “…we see who God is and what He is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God…step[s] out of His hiddenness.”1
We don’t witness the backlash in this week’s Gospel, but we know how it all ends. The crux of the problem for Jesus’ audience (and for those who will later condemn Him) is the apparent disparity between the man they see before them and who He claims to be. It was a question also posed by C. S. Lewis centuries later. Was Jesus a lunatic, or was He truly God? As if understanding this dilemma, the Gospel writer goes to great lengths to assure us today, as then, that he has presented an accurate and precise account “so that [we] may know the truth…” (Lk 1:4).
In our modern world, truth can seem elusive. We live in a time when people frequently make claims that we later discover were completely false. It’s difficult for us to know what to believe, and we often want proof. Though human failings are all around us, God makes good on His promises. He is worthy of our trust. We must simply look at Christ’s life – and death – to see the undeniable evidence. In an ever changing and uncertain world, we put our hope in Him who is “…the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Heb 13:8).
“It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.”2
– Kelley Holy
1Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 48.