He made only one simple statement,
"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing"
(v. 21). The effect waselectrifying. These people knew their Scriptures. They fullyunderstood the implications of what Jesus was saying.Clearly, he was saying that he was the Messiah. Theevidence he offered was that he was fulfilling the messianicpromises to heal, to deliver, and to set the captives of
free.3On another occasion, when John the Baptist was in prison,he sent some of his
(disciples or rabbinic students)to inquire of the Lord,
"Are you the one who was to come,or should we look for another?"
(Luke 7:20). On the basisof the kind of ministry Jesus was conducting, John himself may have wondered if Jesus was truly the Messiah. Whatproof did Jesus offer John of his Messiahship?
he told John’s disciples,
"and report to John what you haveseen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk,those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me"
(Luke 7:22).If you were blind, deaf, or dead, the fact that Jesus
"cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind"
was incredibly goodnews! But to those who were expecting the Messiah tocome as a conquering king, he was a great disappointment;thus the blessing upon those who were not offended by himto the point of falling out of faith.
Judgment comes later
On yet another occasion, Jesus hadexplained that at that time he had not come to judge theworld,
"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judgethe world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one whorejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent mecommanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say"
(John 12:47-50).The final judgment of the world is reserved for the end time.It did not occur in the first century of our era. God, in hismercy, has created an interim period during which the worldis being given an opportunity to hear the good news aboutJesus the Messiah, to respond to it with repentance, and toexperience in the present the
"powers of the world to come"
(Hebrews 6:5) – that is, healing, deliverance andempowerment from God (Acts 1:8).God is not a respecter of persons. When he comes to judgethe world, all of us will be judged by the same moralstandard, whether Jew or gentile (circumcised, Noachide orpagan). The judgment of the world will be carried outduring after the Messiah returns to fulfill the second half of his commission:
"…and the day of vengeance of our God"
In Luke4:22, the NIV translationreads,
"All spoke well of himand were amazed at thegracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked."
According to Dr. RobertLindsey, a noted synoptic scholar, this verse, as translated,misses the meaning of the people’s reaction to Jesus’preaching. The actual thought here is something like "Weall know Joseph and he is a good man. How can his son getso big-headed as to think he is the Messiah himself? Maybehe has performed some miracles not far from us, but doesthat make him the Messiah?"For Dr. Lindsey, the key to understanding this section isfound in the Greek "words of grace" translated in ourEnglish versions as "gracious words" in verse 22 (NIV &NKJV). If we translate these words back to Hebrew,according to Lindsey, we have
WroteLindsey; "This expression could easily be understood by aGreek writer translating to Greek as ‘words of grace.’ Butthe word ‘chesed’ in Hebrew can also mean ‘a wickedthing’ or a ‘disgrace.’ In Leviticus 20:17 we read, forinstance,"If a man takes his sister…and they remove their clothesand see each other naked, it is a wicked thing (
)."Lindsey also cites Proverbs 14:34 where the text says, "sinis a reproach
to any people."In Luke 4:22, therefore, the words translated "graciouswords" could also be translated "words of disgrace" or"words of apostasy."In the NIV, the first words in verse 22 are translated "Allspoke well of him…" Dr. Lindsey believed that thisrendering also misses the intended meaning. The Greek word translated "spoke well" is
In Greek thisnormally has the meaning of "testifying in favor" of someone. But when you translated it back into Hebrew, itmeans exactly the opposite – to testify
An exampleis found in I Kings 21:10:
"to bear witness against him…"
Dr. Lindsey therefore believed that the meaning of Luke4:22 could actually be
"And all of them spoke critically of