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Luke 4:14-21 - This scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

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Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.


When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:


"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."


And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."


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This is the Gospel selection to be read aloud by a priest on the third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This will follow a reading from the Book of Nehemiah, where it is written: “the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding” and “He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday”. That will be followed by a singing of Psalm 19, where David wrote, “One day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another. Although they have no words or language, and their voices are not heard, Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world.” Those two will precede a reading from Paul’s first letter to the true Christians of Corinth, where he wrote: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.”


Once again we are presented with a translation that is empty of divine insight, led merely by the rules of human syntax, which means license is given to paraphrase Greek into English. The translation services do not know there is a divine syntax in play – in all divine Scripture – which says first and foremost, “This is the Word of Yahweh! Do not alter the text in any way!” That means such things as the order of words, punctuation, uses of “kai” and capitalized words are written by divine prophets, to be read divinely by future prophets. Paraphrase is like heaping dung on that which is holy, attempting to keep seekers away from the truth.


Context is important. The first thirteen verses of Luke’s fourth chapter tell of Jesus in the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan. After Jesus successfully completed that ‘test before ministry,’ verses fourteen and fifteen are deemed by the translation services as “Jesus Begins His Ministry” [BibleHub] or “The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry” [NRSV]. Thus, the NRSV delightfully declares, “Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee,” as if Jesus was somewhere outside Galilee when tested in the wilderness by Satan. They make it seem like the ‘field trip’ was over, so Jesus “returned to Galilee.” That is not written.


The Greek text written by Luke is this: “Kai hypestrepsen ho Iēsous en tē dynamei tou Pneumatos eis tēn Galilaian”. As I have made it plain to see [with bold type applied], this verse is begun by a capitalized “Kai.” The basic meaning of all uses of “kai” indicates a need to pay close attention to that stated after the word “kai.” That which follows is always important to grasp. When that word is then capitalized, that importance is then divinely elevated, so the segment following must be read as heavenly meaning, not the mundane. To then translate a paraphrase that mundanely says, “Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee” is thus missing the very important marker word “Kai.”


By recognizing that divine importance indicated, the word “hypestrepsen” needs special attention applied to it. The word is written in the Aorist Indicative, Third-person singular form of “hupostrephó,” which means “to turn back, return.” This means the proper translation implies “he having turned back” or “it having returned.” When one realizes that the wilderness experience was forty days and this period was when Jesus “ate nothing” [Luke 4:2b] – requiring a most clear “Do not try this at home” warning – it is important that the set-up to that testing daily by the devil [Luke 4:2a] is said in Luke 4:1: “Jesus now , full of the Spirit Sacred , having had returned from the Jordan” [where John baptized Jesus]. In that, the exact same “hypestrepsen” is written.


This word must then be seen as more than Jesus walking from one place to another; and, be seen as the soul of Jesus having left his body of flesh, in a divinely esoteric manner, as if Jesus sat down in a lotus position and went into a very deep trance state, where his flesh could maintain life without physical sustenance. A better way to understand this is the soul of Jesus leaving his body, while his body continued to function daily, as a normal human being. His soul was then tested for the symbolic time of "forty days," which is relative to establishing a strong foundation of some kind. Going without food is more in line with having no external spiritual food supplied to him [manna from heaven spiritual strength], so the basic soul of Jesus [an elohim] is pitted against Satan [or the devil]. Therefore, the divinely elevated meaning of “he having returned” in verse fourteen says the soul of Jesus was then back in his body of flesh, so his body of flesh “returned” to an active state of being Jesus, with his test in the spiritual wilderness successfully completed.


The great importance of this “return” is then “this Jesus,” where the capitalization of “Jesus” means more than his name, becoming a statement of the meaning behind the name. Because “Jesus” means “Yah[weh] Will Save,” the divine importance says Jesus had his soul “returned” to his flesh for the purpose of his ministry beginning, where he was made so “Yahweh Will Save” other souls.


With the soul created by Yahweh [a Yahweh elohim that was Man or Adam] now back in a body of flesh, living up to the promise that began the Seventh Day of Creation [we are still in that ‘day’ now], Jesus [as Adam] was made for the purpose of Yahweh Saving souls. Now, we see that Jesus has “within” his being the “power, ability, strength” – all the amazing miraculous wonders of the Son of God – brought upon his flesh by the “Spirit” that was his being born THE Yahweh elohim of the Savior. It was then this most divine soul, encased in the hull [seed covering] that was the body of Jesus, that entered “into this” physical world.


To then add “Galilee,” as if Jesus walked into the place named “Galilee,” that is one dimension of meaning that is true; but that meaning is miniscule to the true intent of that capitalized word having been written. The name “Galilee” means “Rolling” or “Region.” It is derived from a Hebrew word that means “Encircle” or “Roll.” Accepted meanings are “Circle, Circuit, and Revolving.” When this word is used with a known countryside, it becomes a “Region” or a “District.” Those last two meaning are not divinely elevated (being of the world), so the truth stated by Luke is that once the soul of Jesus had returned to his flesh for the purpose of saving souls in ministry for his Father, he began “Rolling” in ministry, so his soul could “Encircle” the souls of seekers desiring to be saved. This is the truth of this first segment of words written in verse fourteen.


[Aside: In the Easter story, where the stone sealing the tomb is rolled away, this needs to be seen as the cornerstone that is Jesus being rounded for the purpose of being rolled away at death, so the soul is released to Yahweh. To make Jesus into a squared-edged stone that cannot be moved locks one's soul inside the tomb, reflecting reincarnation. I wrote and posted about this last Easter.]


When one then realizes that the second segment of words in verse fourteen follows a semicolon, or a mark that denotes a separate statement, but one still related to this divine “return” of Jesus’ soul in his flesh, full of the “Spirit” and “Rolling” into ministry, one then sees another “kai” beginning this segment. That means more importance must be noted, although now it is ordinary – of the world – importance, not divinely elevated importance. The first word needing to be understood is “phēmē,” which means “a report, fame, saying.” In other words, the talk about Jesus becomes important to grasp.


At this time, it is important to realize the author of this Gospel is Luke, who wrote purely after the fact, as one who listened to the story told to him by Mother Mary, while also being divinely inspired to know the truth he was shown by Yahweh. The testing of Jesus, prior to his ministry, must be seen as a spiritual testing, not one of physical endurance, as would be the military training of ‘boot camp.’ This means the soul of Jesus was tested in the wilderness that is the realm of Satan or the devil. This could have been while Jesus was still doing mundane things, prior to his official beginning of service to the Father. Thus, his presence at the wedding at Cana and his first trip to Jerusalem for the Passover [written of in John’s Gospel] could have bridged over forty days, when people saw Jesus and interacted with him normally, all while his soul was confronting Satan about that demonic elohim not getting in Jesus' way. Thus, the “Rolling” or “Encircling” would have been the time after his first Passover appearance in Jerusalem, as Jesus was ‘taking the long way’ home, making the “Rounds” in all the places where Jews lived, between here and there.


This means the “buzz” about Jesus, which began when he made himself be known in Jerusalem, became louder. Wherever Jesus went, he left behind those who not only said, “I saw Jesus,” but more importantly [“kai”] the souls of Jews were “Encircled” by the soul of Jesus that he left with them [compliments of the Father]. Those souls were the beginnings of a revival of commitment to what the truth of Judaism had fallen from. This was not some news bulletin that was circulated among the Jews, but a newness of faith that spread wherever Jesus went. It was not spread into “regions” or “neighboring places,” but into the souls of Jews who sought the truth of Yahweh and received the soul of Jesus to encourage their souls.


This is then confirmed when verse fifteen also begins with the word “kai,” saying it is important to realize this spread came from Jesus “teaching” in their “synagogues” or places to “assemble” as Jews. The Greek word “edidasken” is the Third-person Indicative of “didaskó,” where the root word means “to teach, direct, admonish.” This means the importance coming from knowing Jesus “was teaching” is he was not only telling the Jews things about Scripture that went beyond what they had been told before; but he was touching their souls with an awareness that they were all playing with fire by memorizing quotes, while doing none of what the quotes said to do. The soul of Jesus enlightened their souls to a point of seeing the truth for the first time – an Epiphany in their lives. That Epiphany is then said, “being glorified under all,” where “hypo” denotes the Jews Jesus encountered had come “under the authority” of the Spirit that Jesus possessed.


Those two verses have now set up the remainder, as it is easy to see how Jesus had arrived in Nazareth, where he grew up. So, he was then about to do the same thing he had done prior in the “Surrounding Region.” However, this is missing some good details.


Verse sixteen begins by stating in Greek: “Kai ēlthen eis Nazara”, which should be noted begins with another capitalized “Kai,” denoting a divinely elevated importance that must be known. The first word following is then “ēlthen,” which is the Aorist Indicative, Third-person Singular [the same as found in “hypestrepsen”], with the root word being “erchomai,” meaning “to come, go.” Just like reading of a simple “returning” was wrong before [because of “Kai”], a simple “coming” is wrong here. The divinely elevated statement that must be realized here is Jesus “has entered.” This is not as an ordinary man, but as the soul of Yahweh’s Son in flesh. This is then stating that Yahweh “has come,” as the Son.


The word “eis” means “into, in, unto, to, upon, towards, for, among,” but the word becomes elevated in meaning as “in union with.” When the capitalized word “Nazara” is then read, this must be seen as the divine meaning behind the name, which is “Place of Nazarites.” This means it is vital to understand what a “Nazarite” is.


A “Nazarite” is a priest defined by Numbers 6, where Moses was told by Yahweh, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves to Yahweh” [NRSV, with my adjustment to say “Yahweh”]. In that, the Hebrew word written that translates as “nazarite” is “nā·zîr,” meaning “one consecrated, devoted.” A "Nazarite" is then a wife of Yahweh [soul married to Spirit], based on vows taken. Those "vows" are the Covenant.


The town of Nazareth is roughly ten miles from the Essene temple that was built on Mount Carmel, with the priests of that temple deemed “consecrated ones” or “Nazarites.” Jesus was said to be known as “Nazōraios” [“Nazorean” – NRSV], where that means more than being a “Nazorean,” as it means being a "Nazarite from Nazareth.” Thus, the presence of Jesus in the place where his father Joseph owned a house and some land [as an Essene priest, along with in-law Zechariah], Jesus “appeared in” the spirit of a “Nazarite” … of High Priest distinction [most “Consecrated”]


This divinely elevated statement of the presence in Nazareth by Jesus needs to be known by the reader, as the Jews who sat in the synagogue there, with Jesus, were just like the employees pushing the translation buttons at the NRSV [et al]. Just like they know nothing of capitalized “Kai”s and divine language rules of syntax, the Jews of Nazareth knew nothing of Jesus “appearing before them as a Nazarite.” This then ties back into the reason why Yahweh sent a messenger to tell Joseph to go to Egypt.


It was not to hide baby Jesus from a mad king’s wrath [that was easily within Yahweh’s power to prevent], but to let Joseph spend time learning a trade [carpentry], so when he returned to Nazareth he would no longer act like an Essene priest, but like a blend-in-ordinary Jew. The Essenes were know to be zealots, who did not go to Jerusalem for the Passover, because they went instead to Mount Carmel’s temple. So, by Joseph being seen as a convert to ordinary Judaism, Jesus had the protection of not being known as a “Nazarite from Nazareth,” but simply “Jesus the Nazarene.” And, that is how all the Jews in the synagogue of Nazareth saw Jesus … to them he was just a local boy grown up.


When we read, “He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him,” the truth of those words come from two verses: 16 and 17. That written at the end of verse sixteen is this: “kai anestē anagnōnai .” The period mark says “stop here, complete end.” The words literally translate to say, “importance: [him being] raised up [him having been] recognized”. This says Jesus was seen as one who visited synagogues and spoke with great authority [his “reports”]. His stature was raised as one who spoke Hebraic words with authority [he did not mumble, whine, or speak softly, like Episcopal readers do these days - and most like the Jews ordinarily reading in the synagogue then]. The period mark says Jesus came to Nazareth as a noted authority on Scripture, thereby he was invited to read for their “assembly” on the “Sabbath,” with that invitation based on him being seen as an "upright" and "upstanding" Jew of note.


Then, in verse seventeen is said, “the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.” This needs to be better understood.


Being an Episcopalian does not always give one the right to do certain things in an Episcopal church. Washing the cups, trays, and linen requires one be trained how to do that. Holding a cup during a service demands even more training, with papers signed and documented. Being a reader is perhaps the one thing requiring the least training; but one does not show up at an Episcopal church saying, “I picked a really good reading I like, so I’ll read that.” Even though most priests will never prepare a sermon based on what the volunteers will read aloud [often quite poorly], the reading selections are preset and fairly fixed, based on the Episcopal lectionary and the individual church’s path for each lectionary year. The Jews have something similar, where the readings are set long beforehand. Thus, when some “attendant” took out the scroll for Isaiah’s sixty-first chapter and handed it to Jesus, it was the scheduled reading for that Sabbath.


Now, just as I know what the readings scheduled will be beforehand, I could be prepared to read a lesson and then speak about it, if I was some ‘rock star’ traveling evangelist for some off-denominational church [that followed the Episcopal lectionary]. In the same way, Jesus would have divinely known what the readings would be for each and every Sabbath, without having to go to a file drawer [there was no Internet back then] and pull out some notes from old sermons past. Jesus had the power to read Hebrew written on scrolls and then speak about the meaning of those words, because he was the Son of Yahweh “returned” to the flesh.


When the NRSV translates, “[Jesus] unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,” that can give the false impression that Jesus paused, while everyone watched, perhaps muttering, “Now where is it? I know it is here somewhere … oh there it is!” The reading Jesus spoke from Isaiah are verses one through two-a. If Jesus had to unroll the scroll to the first verse, then there was some standard ‘Jewish copyrights’ or ‘disclaimers’ that he had to scroll past, in order to reach the first verse of Isaiah 61. [Otherwise there was one quite large scroll that had all of Isaiah's chapters on it, meaning Jesus had to go to the end of the scroll to find chapter sixty-one.]


In the Hebrew that has been translated from Greek to English, it should be noted that Jesus read the words “adonay, Yahweh, Yahweh,” and then “Yahweh” again, in the twenty-four Hebrew words he read [actually written by Isaiah]. In a Jewish synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus would not have read Greek from any scrolls. In the first words read, “ruach adonay Yahweh alay” these words say, “the spirit of the lords of Yahweh are upon me.” The plural number of “adonay” – meaning “lords” [not “lord” and certainly not “Lord”] – says Isaiah announced in his writing how his soul was led by the presence of Yahweh’s “Spirit” to be one who “stands up” or “has risen” in soul-state, so he too could speak for the Father [as the Son reborn]. By Isaiah saying his soul was one of many who were all leaders of other souls ["lords," or "elohim" teachers] to marry Yahweh, those words spoke of the presence of Jesus in that synagogue.


After Isaiah wrote of his own divine self having married Yahweh and having become one with His Spirit, to then say, “because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,” that was what made the “reports” of Jesus lead to his being approved to read from the scrolls on the Sabbath in Nazareth. The “good news” [from “lə·ḇaś·śêr,” meaning “bearing good tidings”] was Isaiah explaining how to marry Yahweh, which came from Scripture being correctly discerned.


When Isaiah wrote next, “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,” that spoke of his leading the lost sheep back into the fold. That allowed their souls to marry Yahweh, serve Him faithfully as His priests, and thereby have their souls saved eternally. A free soul is a saved soul An imprisoned soul is one trapped in human bondage, enslaved to a body of flesh and the trappings of sin. All the Jews had been blinded by their sitting in wooden seats one day a week, listening to blind as bats teachers tell them nothing of value [if the shoe still fits ….].


Thus, when Jesus ended his reading with the beginning of verse two, which the NRSV translates as saying, “to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,” Jesus would has said [literally translating], “to proclaim the year of goodwill from Yahweh.” The meaning of “the year” is the time awaited. The time awaited by the Jews was the coming of the promised Messiah. That was the “goodwill of Yahweh,” as promised to the Jews. By stopping there and not reading the rest of verse two, Jesus’ ‘sermon’ was what he read. He ended with a statement that said, “the time of goodwill awaited is now.” So, he returned the scroll to the attendant and then sat down.


Here is where the information in verses fourteen and fifteen need to be recalled. Most likely, Jesus did similar in other synagogues. This means when Jesus rolled open the scroll of Isaiah and found where the scroll spoke of him, he found ALL scrolls unrolled to speak of him; so, he was always reading about himself and then sitting down. In every place other than Nazareth, the Jews hearts were so opened by the Spirit that was with the soul of Jesus, which “Encircled” their hearts, those seekers were reading the scrolls as Jesus, knowing “Oh My God, this is Him!” The fools of Nazareth were not seekers, so their hearts were as hard as the stones Satan had told Jesus to turn into loaves of bread. For Jesus to have to explain to the Jews of Nazareth, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing,” says they were divinely deaf to his words spoken.


And, this is what is then leading to the story of “Jesus Rejected at Nazareth,” although the rejection part is not read today [next Sunday]. The reason that is not read today is this is the after the Epiphany time period, when our souls have to hear the truth and rejoice. It is so easy to reject anyone who would be so bold to say, “Scripture speaks of me,” but for those whose souls have actually be reborn as Jesus on Christmas and confirmed as truly Christian on the Epiphany, all we need to hear is Scripture speaks of ALL who will be the resurrection of Jesus, just as Isaiah was, well before Jesus the Nazarene walked around Galilee. We get the message – the Good News – because we are seekers of truth and our hearts have been opened to receive the Spirit. Just bring it close and our hearts are filled with the glory of Scripture being revealed. We believe because our eyes have been opened.


As a Gospel reading to be read aloud on the third Sunday after the Epiphany, it is important to be willing to let Yahweh and Jesus lead us to discern the truth. That means moving aside all the bad paraphrases and incorrect translations to see the truth. We have to stop letting some volunteer read the Word to us; and we need to become Jesus reading the Word with us, so we can come to understanding divinely. The after the Epiphany time is for intern ministry. We have to be Jesus newbies, where we can’t just open our mouths and expect the truth to flow forth. We have to examine and ponder the meaning. Jesus is our teacher; and, good teachers don’t tell us all the answers. Good teachers lead us to come to the answers on our own, so the truth is long lasting. That is what this reading selection today is pointing out.

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