Legacy Devotional: Day 10
The Synagogue: A Place of Authority
As Jesus read this from the passage of Isaiah, he stood in the synagogue of his hometown, Nazareth. The English word ‘synagogue’ comes from the Greek ‘sunagoge’, which actually means ‘a bringing together’ or ‘gathering’. It refers to an assembling together of people. On the Sabbath day, Jews would gather together in the synagogue to worship God, hear reading from the Scriptures and listen to the proceeding teachings. In this portion of Scripture in Luke, Jesus has taken his place as teacher under the authority of God to declare his ministry and reveal that he has come to fulfil the Scriptures and bring hope into the world.
As the people gathered together, an opportunity was created for Jesus to expose to the people in Nazareth his true identity as the Messiah. What they heard in the synagogue was not just mere words coming from a man of authority, but a declaration of the authority that was over their lives because of who this man was. Throughout his ministry, the synagogue became a place where Jesus established his authority as the Son of God. Jesus came not to make a claim of authority over God’s people, but to use his authority to set lives free and confirm God’s place among His people.
Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (NIV). By assembling together in the synagogue, the Jews opened the doorway for God to dwell among them, and began a legacy of freedom and favour for God’s people for generations to come. Today, we gather together as the Church under the authority of God, and through continuing on in faith and obedience as we assemble together, this legacy of freedom and favour is still so relevant and will endure through to the generations yet to come.
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“The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of the sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’” - Luke 4:17-19, NIV
Key Passage: Luke 4:16-22