Jesus strode down the dusty path toward the synagogue in Nazareth. All His growing-up years He had traveled this same path and joined the rest of His town in Sabbath worship. This time was a little different, however. He was no longer just the carpenter Joseph’s kind and helpful son.
He had turned 30, been baptized by His cousin John, been tempted in the wilderness by the devil, and returned to Galilee to begin His ministry. Yes, things were different now. It was time to tell the people why He came to this earth. It was time to offer them the good news.
Jesus joined the other worshippers as they sat in a square around the reading platform. When His turn came, He stood to read, and someone handed Him the scroll of Isaiah. Jesus scanned through the well-known words until He came to the passage He wanted. In a clear, kind, but authoritative voice He read, “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 4:18, 19).
All eyes were on Jesus as He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. “Today,” He said, “this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (verse 21).
The people that day were not pleased about this good news. Before a person can be happy about healing, freedom from captivity, and release from darkness, that person must feel the need for those things. Many of the Jews at that time did not feel that they needed what Jesus had to offer, so they missed out on the good news.
And that is the way it always is. Some people understand that Jesus brings them joy and freedom and healing as soon as they hear the good news. Others don’t. But Jesus went about from village to village, healing and spreading the good news anyway. And He expected His disciples to do the same. He sent them out two by two, and they spread the good news too. They freed many captives from Satan’s darkness when they drove out demons and healed sick people. Many homes and many villages were filled with joy.
The world today needs good news. Satan is busy, working to discourage and hurt the human race. Sadness and fear are wrapped around people’s hearts like chains that bind prisoners. Jesus came to bring good news—He came to break those chains and set us free.