In Luke 4:14-21 Jesus enters the synagogue in Nazareth, his hometown and “the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed him.” Isaiah is the first major prophetic book in the Old Testament. Isaiah lived about 700 BC and according to Isaiah 1:1 prophesied during the kingship of four Judean kings, possibly for 64 years. Scholars have debated just exactly how the book of Isaiah was put together but Jesus used it for his platform. Isaiah’s wife was called “the prophetess (8:3)” and they had three sons.

So did Jesus request the scroll of the prophet Isaiah or did he plan his journey to be in Nazareth, knowing Isaiah was the given book to be read? We do know that after Ezrah, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, a system of reading Holy Scripture was established even as our Sunday texts are uniform in all Lutheran churches and mainline churches and Catholic churches around the world each Sunday. The scroll is handed to Jesus. I hear in this that Jesus, knowing his heritage, knowing his destiny did not choose to speak “out of the blue” but tied his message to a historical prophecy. He did not claim divine inspiration for something new but embedded himself in God’s continuing story being unfolded in Scripture and history.

The scroll of Isaiah, with verses sung in Handel’s Messiah, that is quoted multiple times in the New Testament, is put into the hands of Jesus and is available to me in the Bible. How does that touch my heart this morning? The continuity of God’s story, God’s word, God’s continuing communication with us touches my heart. In our world today where we “surf the web,” “channel hop” on media to find entertainment, God’s consistent message and multiple attempts to reach me are very touching. I fret when my prayers are not answered instantly and in the way I want them answered but these words encourage me that our God does not give up and is working in ways I cannot hope to understand and in ways I cannot see. I do not know where you are feeling called to stand up and speak, but sharing the truth of God’s consistent love is a good place to start. May God bless your encounters today and give you voice!

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