One of the marks of Jesus’ life was his strong sense of purpose. Christian scholars debate how much Jesus, in his humanity, understood his divine nature, the high cost he would pay to accomplish his mission, or the resurrection that awaited him after his death. But they all agree that Jesus knew he had been called by God to fulfil an important purpose. The centre of Jesus’ message was the proclamation that the Reign of God was near and accessible to all. This week in the Lectionary, this mission of Christ to proclaim and establish God’s Reign is the focus. The Gospel reading from Luke 4 describes Jesus reading from Isaiah’s scroll about the servant of God who comes to bring justice and peace. When he finished reading Jesus proclaimed that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in him. This means that this passage gives us a clear idea of how Jesus understood his purpose.
As we explore the other readings for today, one of which is Paul’s teaching about the body of Christ, we realise that the purpose of Christ is also to be our purpose. We are called, as individuals and as a community, to embody the message and mission of God’s Reign as Jesus did. As we share our lives and work together to bring grace, love, peace and justice into our world, we become a manifestation of God’s Reign. This week we will explore what this means for us.
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