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Detaining Grace

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

Those who were next in line when Jesus announced He had to go were likely the same ones who tried to keep Him from leaving. Luke tells us the people physically detained Jesus, holding Him down so He couldn’t leave. They were desperate for Him to stay.

It must have been hard for them to understand that they were important to Him, but something MOST important was calling His name.

What was it?

He said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:43-44)

“I must preach the Gospel… ”

Luke uses the word must to show us the essence of Jesus’ ministry. These are the most important things to Jesus.

What is the most important thing here? Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Kingdom to those who haven’t heard it yet.

In Roman times, the word gospel was used in the secular world, too. When a new emperor ascended the throne, heralds announced the good news throughout the kingdom. Jesus borrowed this word to explain His mission: There was good news: a new king—but a King in the Kingdom of God!

And so Jesus went and preached this Good News. We already know the contents of His message: He was here to help the helpless and proclaim the arrival of God’s acceptance—His grace.

So what MOST important thing compelled Jesus to go? In Luke 4:19, Jesus said He was “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The word favor means “acceptance,” and it was used regarding something under divine approval. Grace.

The Gospel of grace.

He left the sick and lame to proclaim grace to those who hadn’t heard it yet. This is the most important thing to Jesus. And because His Spirit indwells us and He lives through us, it should be the most important thing to us as well.

Jesus, You want me to preach the Gospel of grace? What if I use the wrong words or say the wrong thing? What if I’m rejected? Speak through me. Give me the words. Make it my most important thing, too. Amen.

 Learn more from Pete’s teaching series on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?

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