This passage is situated at the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. Jesus has returned from Nazareth after several days in the wilderness where the power of the Holy Spirit assisted him in fighting the temptations of the devil. In this story, Jesus goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath and is now said to be reading from the Torah as was customary. This means that Jesus regularly does this which shows that he is a devout Jew. It was important for him to rest on the Sabbath and go to the synagogue for scripture and teaching on this day. Luke has followed this account with miracle and healing stories depicting Jesus as a compassionate saviour and prophet. Luke arranges the passages in this way in order to ‘write an orderly account’ (1:3) of Jesus’ life and mission. He shows that the presence of the Holy Spirit stays with Jesus and will continue to follow him throughout his life. The themes present include: Role of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Identity and Prophetic Rejection. This story is a dialogue incorporated narrative, between Jesus and the crowd of people in the synagogue. The speech Jesus gives, beginning in verse 18, follows a chiastic structure as outlined below: a.
Jesus stands up
The scroll is given to him
He unrolls the scroll
“Spirit of the Lord, Lord’s favour”
He rolls up the scroll
He hands the scroll back
Jesus sits down
This is a technique used by Luke to emphasise the importance of this mission statement which is summarised by quotes from Isaiah 61:1-2 with an incursion from 58:6. Previously the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus (4:1-14) and now he states that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon [him].” This further highlights that Jesus’ mission is driven and guided by the Holy Spirit, which links him to others who were previously driven by the Holy Spirit in Luke’s gospel including Zechariah, Simeon in the Temple and John the Baptist. Examples of a proverb, which is a short saying about a general truth, is included in the latter...
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