Monday Reverb – 24Jan2022

Sermon Review


Jesus Declares Jubilee

Luke 4:14-30 ESV


You have to imagine this scene as it first happened.  This is probably a relatively small, humble setting.  The synagogue would have been crowded and well-used, not unlike a lively rural church that smells like old coffee and Pine-Sol.  The congregants are the oppressed, occupied people of Israel.  They lived in relative peace with their Roman conquerors much of the time, but their lives were restricted, and their culture disrespected. Revolts against Rome were crushed mercilessly.

The synagogue was one place where they could be themselves, reading about the promises of their God to deliver them one day.

Over the grind of years, especially under the thumb of a decidedly pagan oppressor, some tribalism and animosity toward outsiders had developed.  They believed Israel was God’s chosen people, and that Rome — with her disgusting gods and terrifying power plays — would eventually be destroyed on the day of God’s deliverance.  Israel would be exalted again, and their enemies would be demolished.

During Jesus’ time, small Israelite terrorist groups existed that would stage riots and assassinate officials in hopes of bringing about God’s great military deliverance.  God’s salvation would be for them as a people, and the rest of the world would pay for their arrogance.

And on this day, Jesus stands up to read where these promises are read.  But he reads a different section for the day, and that’s where the story takes a turn.

 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“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 favor.”

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.” (Luke 4:14-30 ESV)

Today in our reading, Jesus takes aim at exclusivity.  He places just the right dynamite at just the right places to explode our judgment of who’s “in” and who’s “out.”  He topples our understanding of who the desirables and deplorables are; he breaks down the “us versus them.”

We need a few historical coordinates to understand what’s going on here.  At that time in Israel, there was the belief that God would come and deliver his special people and destroy their enemies.  Based on their reading of the Old Testament, they believed that God’s deliverance would be physical and political, and that the barbarian hordes, Rome especially, would be broken by God’s strength.  Israel would be exalted.


We need to view that sympathetically, although it seems foreign to most of us.  A few generations before Jesus came, people were tortured and killed for keeping Jewish practices and beliefs.  Their grandparents had been killed for things like keeping the sabbath, which is why it was so important when Jesus confronted these realities.  The people of Israel were a displaced minority, so their identity was extremely important to them.  Within the story of that identity was the exclusive deliverance of Israel, hand-picked by God to be his people and the rest of the world could, quite literally, be damned.

Small note here: I am NOT saying that this what Jewish people believe today. Their faith has evolved and changed dramatically since the first century. I’m not saying these are Jewish beliefs as a whole, but these are the beliefs that were in play when Jesus was here and in the specific society he was in. Do NOT assume what Jewish people these days believe; that is a very diverse subject that is another discussion entirely. Please know also that any problems we see in the people of Israel, or in any other faith group, are sins we’ve committed as well. The church has been just as exclusionary as first-century Judaism ever was at different times in her history. These issues aren’t pointed out for us to judge, but to be warned lest we do the same.

Jesus is coming up against this exclusivity, against the idea that we know what God’s “chosen” will look like.  Let’s get to the passage:

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. (Luke 4:14-15 ESV)

It says Jesus was in the “power of the Spirit.”  What had he just come back from?  What had he just been through?  He’d just been through 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying and spending time with God, and having the harrowing experience of Satan bugging him like a horsefly.  We don’t see him coming out of college with a fresh degree or coming off a nice long sabbatical, a long vacation, refreshed and ready.  He has been recently tried and tested, emptied and encouraged, so that he can be filled with the Spirit and fully prepared for his ministry.

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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“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 favor.” (Luke 4:16-18 ESV)

We have to set the scene here as well.  Jesus is walking into the synagogue, as was his custom.  He was there doing what faithful Israelites of the day were always doing.  They would open the scroll and read and then sit down and offer a teaching based on the reading.

But the scene here is different.  As the passage indicates, they are aware of Jesus and what he has been up to.  Word has spread about his teaching and his presence, maybe even his miracles.  They were waiting for him to say something profound.

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.” (Luke 4:19-20 ESV)

He’d shocked them: “This is about me and it’s happening now.”

What?!  He was reading about God’s deliverance.  He was reading about God’s great deliverance of Israel that they’d all been waiting for. B ut it sounded different than what they expected; it wasn’t what they thought it would be.

Jesus is talking about those who are the undesirable, those who are the broken and on the margins: the blind, the poor, the prisoners, the oppressed.  Luke’s gospel is often economic, talking about Jesus’ special love for the poor and destitute.  But the definition of “poor” here is wider than that as well.  It describes those who are of low social status in their society — women, children, disabled people, blind people.

Jesus is stating that the vision of God’s kingdom starts with and always includes these people.

The good news is not for those who think they’re together, but those who know they’re broken.

That’s the bombshell here.  Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, but sinners.  He didn’t come to rain fire down on those bad guys, but to show the good guys and the bad guys that they need a Savior.

This is easy to forget in a changing world.  Christianity was the dominant religion for a very long time in the west — several centuries.  Many of us remember a time when almost everyone you knew went to church and the world stopped on Sunday.  This next generation won’t grow up in that world.  There will be a wide diversity of different worldviews in the air, different perspectives, and the traditional Christian one will become a minority.

Can we learn from this that we are not to view the rest of the world with fear and bitterness?  Can we learn to be thankful that we know Christ as we do rather than be judgmental to the rest of the world that may not know him?  The saved hostage doesn’t judge those that are still imprisoned — he aches for them, he prays for them, and he is grateful every moment that he has been rescued.  Let’s let this be our attitude.

This is one reason it can be refreshing to hang out with recovering addicts, and if you never have, I’d recommend it!  Those who have looked in the face of death and complete loss and know that every blessing in their lives is just that. Extra.  They live with a certain freedom, knowing what it’s like to lose everything, knowing that they are just as capable of evil as the so-called “bad guys.”

Jesus says here that he has come to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (v. 19)  That’s another important historical piece.  Let’s look at that phrase, which is heavy with meaning, and what it would have sounded like to the original hearers.  Turn with me to Leviticus 25 …

Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.  The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. (Leviticus 25:10-12 ESV)

This is what was called the Jubilee year.  In the Jubilee year, all property was returned to its original owners and the land rested from being cultivated.  Those who had become indentured servants because of poverty were to be freed in that year.

It was a year of liberation, of return of property, and of simplicity.  They were to live on what naturally grew off the land, not to work the land and destroy it trying to get what they wanted out of it.  This would have been a simpler time; wealth and competition would have been at a lull because everyone was living under the same restrictions of production.

The year of Jubilee — the time when everything restarted, and those who were imprisoned were released.  That’s what Jesus is talking about here.  This was a very strict and serious part of being God’s people.  The sabbath day and the sabbath years pointed to the great Jubilee of God delivering Israel one day.  It was an integral part of what it meant to be God’s people.

Jesus declares that he has come to bring Jubilee.  He has come to bring a time of release, of starting over again from ground zero.  The over-complicated, sin-infested ways of “who owes what to whom” and “who offended whom” and “who’s winning and losing” need to be demolished.  Jesus has redeemed all of that and enables us to start over.  But this time we start over with him.

Here are a few things to put in our pocket today, as we look at this special reading of Jesus.

  • Jesus didn’t come for those who think they have it all together, but for those who are broken — whether they realize it or not.   Every good thing in life is from him, every blessing we have is a gift from him, so let’s be freshly grateful.
  • Jesus came for all.  In this same vein, we as God’s people need to be gentle with those who don’t call themselves Christians.  Jesus gives several examples here of God’s mercy shed on those who were “outside” of the chosen.  He had his strongest words for the religious establishment, for the US not the THEM.  Let’s continue to tell truth in love, and be known for our welcoming and hospitality, for our feasting, instead of how well we withdraw.
  • The year of Jubilee — Jesus declared the year of Jubilee, the year that has never stoppedIn Jesus we are released from our sin, guilt, and shame.  Do you need a year of Jubilee in your life?  Is there something that you need to let go of?  Some bitterness or rage against someone, or against life itself?  Let Jesus take care of that for you.  Let this be the year of Jubilee.  Let this be the year when you claim God’s peace and love against all odds.


Doctrine Review


Assurance of Salvation

What is the assurance of salvation?  Can you lose it?  What does it have to do with eternal security?


What is the assurance of salvation?

  • It’s the confidence that your salvation is sure because it is secure in Jesus Christ.
  • Two examples of believers who had the assurance of salvation …
    • 1.  Apostle Paul …
        • 2 Timothy 4:8 … Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
        • 2 Timothy 1:12 … For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
    • 2.  Apostle John …
        • 1 John 5:13 … These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Can you lose the assurance of salvation?  

  • Yes … Just as David lost the “joy” of his salvation
      • Psalm 51:12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
  • BUT you can’t lose your salvation … even though you can lose your rewards.


SPS … To look at WHY you can (and should) have the assurance of salvation.

You CAN lose your assurance … but you CAN’T lose your salvation.

The key to understanding that statement lies in understanding

What is the difference between Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Security?

  • Assurance of Salvation is a confidence that one cannot lose his/her salvation and will be saved, ultimately.
  • Eternal Security is a state of being saved forever.
  • NOTE … One is a belief … the other is a reality that comes by virtue of one’s position in Christ.
      • Romans 6:3-9 (KJV) …  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ** were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrectionKnowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with himKnowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.   
      • ** see 1 Cor.12:12-13 
      • Romans 6:3-9 (ESV)  …   Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus** were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die againdeath no longer has dominion over him.

Why is the reality of our position IN Christ so important to the concept of eternal security?

  • Spirit baptism joins the believer into union with Christ.  This becomes the new spiritual position of the believer.  Phrases such as “in Christ,” “in the beloved,” and “with Christ,” used over and over again in Paul’s epistles, refer to this concept.  This calls attention to the fact the Bible emphasizes we are saved and accepted through our position in — or union with — Christ.
      • Ephesians 1:3  Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.
      • Ephesians 1:6  to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son.
      • Ephesians 2:5-6  even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved! —  6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
      • Colossians 2:10  and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
      • 2 Timothy 2:11-13  This saying is trustworthy: If we died with him, we will also live with him. 12 If we endure, we will also reign with him.  If we deny him, he will also deny us.  13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.
  • This is a place not only of security, but of double security!  Our union with Christ is a guarantee of glory.
      • Colossians 3:3-4  for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him.


To understand why some persons say they have the assurance of salvation, it is probably best to find out what most of them mean by eternal security … given that assurance of salvation is based on eternal security.


What do most people mean by “eternal security”?

  • Eternal security is the surety that those who have been saved by Jesus Christ will remain saved for all ages.
  • It is based on the understanding that a believer’s salvation is by grace, totally of God, from start to finish.
  • The believer did not gain his salvation because of something he did … so the believer cannot do anything to lose his salvation.
  • The believer’s security is guaranteed because he is kept by works of God, not his own works.
  • It is not that we never do anything that could cause us to lose our salvation, but that God is faithful, even when we are faithless.




  • John 3:15–16: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  
  • John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”
  • John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
  • John 5:24: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life
  • John 6:35-37: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
  • John 10:27-29: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.   My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
  • John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
  • John 17:2,12: “… since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.”  …  “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
  • Romans 5:9: Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
  • Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  
      • Romans 8:1 … There is no condemnation for believers … no matter how often they sin (even though a believer can die prematurely IF he persists in sinning as a way of life
      • Romans 8:2-8 … We have been delivered from the Law … and the Law can no longer condemn us  
  • Romans 8:14-17 … Because the believer is now an heir, he cannot lose his salvation 
  • Romans 8:28-30 … Every believer who has been justified WILL be glorified, eventually 
  • Romans 8:31-33 … God will not accept any charges against His elect, SO every believer who has been justified will be glorified 
  • Romans 8:34 … Because of Christ’s achievement, the security of believers is guaranteed 
  • Romans 8:35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
  • Romans 8:38-39: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
      • Romans 8:35-39 … Believers are not able to keep themselves, so God is the One who is going to keep them 
  • Romans 9:6-8: But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 
  • Romans 11:29: For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:6-8: … even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10:  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:19: …that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  
  • Ephesians 1:13-14: In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
  • Ephesians 2:4-6: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus ….
  • Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
  • Philippians 1:6: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3: But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
  • Hebrews 9:12: …he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
  • 2 Timothy 1:12: …which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
  • 2 Timothy 2:13: … if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.  
  • Hebrews 3:14: For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.  
  • Hebrews 6:17-19: So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain …
  • Hebrews 13:20-21: Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  
  • 1 Peter 1:23  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
  • 1 John 2:19: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.  But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
  • 1 John 3:9: No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
  • 1 John 5:4-5: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
  • 1 John 5:11-13: And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

From the Old Testament … 

  • Psalms 20:6: Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
  • Psalms 31:23: Love the LORD, all you his saints!  The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
  • Psalms 37:28: For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
  • Psalms 55:22: Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
  • Psalms 121    
  • Psalms 125:1-2: They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
  • Isaiah 46:3-4: Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
  • Jeremiah 32:39-40: I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 



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