Fresh Hope – 29th March 2016

One of my favourite things that I used to do as a young boy, was the ‘spot the difference’ quiz in my weekly comic –  in which two seemingly identical pictures, side by side, had subtle differences that you had to spot.

As we continue to journey through this Easter season, I want you to join me in one of the most powerful life-changing ‘spot the differences’ in the Bible.

One day, Jesus stood to read from the Book of Isaiah at the front of the Temple.

Now, we are reading this from Luke 4:18-21…

‘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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ 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. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’

…Jesus was actually reading it from the original text in Isaiah 61:1-2 ‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God…’

Take a look at both readings again, and see if you can spot the difference.

Did you get it?

When Jesus read from Isaiah, He missed a bit out.

He omitted the last line …’the day of vengeance of our God’ and chose to end it with…’the year of the Lord’s favour.’

Did he make a mistake?

I don’t believe so, as He was announcing clearly that he was about to take God’s vengeance for us, and replace it with ‘the year of the Lord’s favour.’

We may ask when is that year? Has it gone? Is it to come? Have I missed it?

The answer is found in Jesus’ comment…’Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’

The year of Favour is not a literal year, but is any day called TODAY.

Every day to those that walk with Jesus, can be called a day of Favour.

In fact, I declare this day, right now, a day of favour over your life.

Don’t keep walking around in fear of punishment from God because of the wrongs that you have done, instead, walk in the forgiveness that Jesus has bought for you, and enjoy the very favour of God.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.