Third Sunday after Epiphany – Series C
Jesus operates a strange and upside-down kingdom. This is his first sermon. Do you remember your first sermon? How did it go? By one measure surely not as bad as Jesus’ first sermon went. The folks in his hometown took him outside of town and tried to kill him. Jesus brings a message which evokes a strong reaction from the world. It does not like that message, sometimes it even reacts violently. The proclamation of Jesus’ kingdom upset many because it upends the powers and authorities which govern this world to their own benefit. Jesus challenged the secure religion of the folks in Nazareth that day. They assumed that because they were Jewish that they were the favored people of God, at least over against those gentiles. But Jesus sees more than the Jew/Gentile divide. Jesus also has his eyes on the little guys, the folks who don’t often hear truly good news. Unlike the politicians of our day who cynically promise but fail to deliver the goods to the poor voter, playing the poor man for his vote, our Lord means what he says. In your hearing, this is accomplished. For 800 years people had read Isaiah and found ways to accommodate their reality to this passage. Jesus upends that. The passage is about Him. He fulfills it.