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Transforming the Ordinary

19 March 2021

“Then [Jesus] added, “These Scriptures came true today in front of you.”

Luke 4:21 (The Passion Translation)


This statement was made in a synagogue on the sabbath. Luke, the writer of this Gospel, tells us that it was the custom of Jesus to go into this synagogue on the sabbath (Luke 4:16-17). This was in Nazareth, where Jesus had lived since returning from Egypt. The Passion Translation reads, “… He went into the synagogue, as He always did on the sabbath” (Luke 4:16 TPT).


The people in Nazareth were accustomed to seeing Jesus. It was ordinary for Him to be there, and it was normal for Him to stand up to read. The leaders of the synagogue handed Him the scroll of Isaiah’s prophecy. Those people had likely heard Jesus read from Isaiah hundreds of times. But, that day in Luke 4, Jesus added, “These Scriptures came true today in front of you.” In reading that, this statement stood out to me. The people in the synagogue were so used and accustomed to the way things were – they did not see that everything had changed.


The people of Nazareth had spent their entire lives under Roman occupation, corruption, and a threat to their way of life. For the people living in Judea, the prophecies of the coming Messiah promised hope and an end to the brutality of pagan Rome. Though they had the true promise, why is it, they could not see its fulfillment?


Jewish religious society was built around the coming Messiah. All the annual festivals they observed illustrated that the Messiah – God’s anointed One, would come. Yet here stood Jesus before them, reading the promise of the Anointed One from Isaiah 61, and they could not see Him. Assumptions can blind us. The Jewish community assumed that God’s anointed One would be a conquering King who would overthrow the brutal Roman rule and set free people. Jesus wasn’t a military man. He was – well, He was ordinary. They knew Him, or they assumed they did. The truth was Jesus is a conquering King, and He came to overthrow the dark rule of sin and death. In the synagogue that day, their assumptions blinded them from seeing the long-awaited promise fulfilled.


A very wise man once said that many people miss God’s supernatural work in their life because they are looking for something spectacular. My question for you today is this: are assumptions blinding you from seeing God’s promises manifest in your life? Are there ordinary things in your hands that God wants to transform into extraordinary answers?


Just as that day in Nazareth, everyone in the synagogue thought it was a day like any other, but the reality is there in their ordinary – God did something extraordinary.


Let us all pray that we have spiritual understanding to see clearly what Jesus is doing in our life. Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus to see in their heart to not miss what God is doing before their eyes. Let’s pray this together for ourselves, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:16-20 New International Version).

Photo of Matt Hattabaugh

Matt Hattabaugh

GoChurch Beirut