The Mission Of The Servant Of The Lord -- By: Robert G. Bratcher

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 02:1 (Fall 1984)
Article: The Mission Of The Servant Of The Lord
Author: Robert G. Bratcher


The Mission Of The Servant Of The Lord

Robert G. Bratcher

Translation Consultant, United Bible Societies

Luke 3:1–4:30 marks the beginning of the historical account of Jesus’ ministry. It consists of three parts: (1) the ministry of John the Baptist; (2) Jesus’ baptism, genealogy, and temptations; (3) Jesus’ announcement of his mission.1

The account of Jesus’ activities begins with his return to Galilee (4:14), after his baptism in the Jordan River and his temptations in the wasteland of Judea and Jerusalem. Nothing is said about how or when he had gone from his home in Nazareth, in Galilee (2:51–52), to the Jordan, where he is baptized. John’s ministry is reported in 3:1–20, and then comes the account of Jesus’ baptism (3:21–22). The genealogy that follows (3:23–28) is designed to confirm Jesus as “son of God,” the title he receives at his baptism and which the Devil uses in addressing him (4:3, 9).

The beginning of the Galilean ministry (4:14–30) is climaxed by Jesus’ encounter with his townspeople in the synagogue in Nazareth. The passage reads as follows:2

14Filled with the power of the Spirit, Jesus returned to Galilee, and news about him spread rapidly throughout the whole region, 15He went from synagogue to synagogue and taught the people, evoking admiration and praise from all who heard him.

16And so he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the following Sabbath, as usual, he went to the synagogue. When the time came for the reading of the Scriptures, he stood up, 17and the attendant handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, Jesus located the following passage, which he read to the people:

18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for the Lord commissioned me to proclaim the good news to the poor; he has sent me to announce to the prisoners that they are free and to the blind that now they can see, to set free the oppressed, 19to announce that the time has come for the Lord to bless his people.”

20The reading over, Jesus rolled the scroll back up and returned it to the attendant. Then he sat down, facing the people, all...

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