The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
- To proclaim good news
- To reveal himself as Savior
SERMON TEXT: Luke 4:14-21 (EHV)
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through all the surrounding area. He was teaching in their synagogues and being honored by everyone. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
FIRST LESSON: Nehemiah Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 (EHV)
All the people gathered together at the public square that is in front of the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Law before the congregation, both men and women and all who were able to understand what they heard. From dawn until midday in front of the public square in front of the Water Gate, he read from the scroll, while facing the men, the women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. All the people could see Ezra as he opened the scroll, because he was elevated above all the people. As he opened the scroll, all the people stood. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!” while they lifted up their hands and then knelt and bowed down with their faces to the ground.
So they read from the Book of the Law of God clearly and interpreted it, and the people understood what was read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites, who helped the people understand, said to all the people, “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or cry!” because all the people were crying as they heard the words of the Law. Nehemiah said to them, “Go, eat rich food and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, because today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
SECOND LESSON: Acts 4:23-31 (EHV)
After Peter and John were released, they went to their own friends and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said. When they heard this, with one mind they raised their voices to God and said, “Master, you are the God who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, your servant, you said: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers are gathered together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “For certainly, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and people of Israel, were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did whatever your hand and your plan had decided beforehand should happen. “Now Lord, look at their threats and give to your servants the ability to keep on speaking your word with all boldness as you stretch out your hand to heal and as signs and wonders take place through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. Also, everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 4:23 (NIV)
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching, preaching, and healing every disease.
GOSPEL: Luke 4:14-21
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