A man Eli recognized rose from his seat with an old, worn scroll in his hands. He pulled it open and studied the text until he found what he was looking for. In a loud voice he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." With a moving light in his eyes, the man said with authority, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Eli gasped. How could he say such things? Those words were borderline blasphemous!
A younger man next to Eli nudged him in the side. "Wouldn't that be great?"
He frowned. "Wouldn't what be great."
"Wouldn't it be great if this was the year of the Lord? The year where He made all things new, and blessed all of us who were broken, poor, or sick."
Eli turned away from the younger man without answering. The man, whom he had recognized, was Jesus, the son of Joseph. Eli had to admit. The man had a certain charisma and fire that seemed to scream change. That maybe, just maybe, it was possible. That would be amazing.
But it wasn't that year.
That simple man couldn't make anything new.
Based on Luke 4:16-30
Happy New Year's Eve and New Year to everyone!
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph’s son?" And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself.' What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well." And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away." Luke 4:16-30
I was thinking, "What's more New Year's appropriate then this?"
The answer. Nothing.
My thought is really, really simple. Let this be your new year. Jesus came, died, and rose again so that we could be made new. Those people in Jesus hometown didn't believe in Him, and that seriously stinks...for them. They missed out on being new. They could have been made new that year. They could have had the best new year in all their lives. Instead they stuck with the old and used.
Chained or free, saved or not, we all have a tendency to cling to the old. Our old selves. Our old lives. Old beliefs. And it never gets us anywhere. Instead, let Jesus make you new all the way through this year!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
3...2...1...Happy New You!
V. Joy Palmer