Walk This Way

"Three Paths"

Think of your first day at a new school or a new job. Think of your wedding day or the day your first child was born. The day that we just read about in Luke 4 was that kind of day for Jesus—the start of something new, the first page of a new chapter. Jesus returned to his hometown, showed up in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and read a Scripture that would serve as the roadmap for his life.

He read a 700-year-old prophecy from Isaiah 61. Then he declared that these ancient words referred to him! That single prophecy revealed Jesus’ mission. We see in this passage what his life would center around and what paths he would walk. There are three.

First, his life was marked by proclamation. He declared with his words and demonstrated with his life that freedom, forgiveness, grace and God’s favor are possible. In other words, he let us know that the spiritual brokenness that we are all born into can be healed. Second, he lived a life of compassion. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and bound up the brokenhearted. To put it another way, he addressed the brokenness that comes from living in a fallen world. Third, he spoke up and stood for justice, setting prisoners free and rescuing the oppressed. Consequently, he offers hope and healing for our broken relationships.

From the very start of his ministry, Jesus made it clear that his life would center around these three pursuits: proclamation, compassion, and justice. He set out to bring restoration to all three of the broken relationships that plague every one of our lives. Through proclamation, he reconnects us to God and heals spiritual brokenness. Through compassion, he remedies the pain of this broken world and addresses our physical brokenness. Through justice, he addresses oppression and brings hope to our social brokenness. Only Jesus can heal not just part of, but all of, what is broken!

He invites us, his followers, to journey with him down these three paths, speaking out with a message of forgiveness and hope, reaching down with hands and feet of compassion, and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. These are the paths we are called to walk down.

Look for and make the most of opportunities to speak out in proclamation, reach down with compassion, and stand up for justice.