April 5, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 126: The Fulfillment

The Fulfillment

"Then 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, and he began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" (Luke 4:20, 21 NIV)

If I could choose one moment from the Bible to have witnessed first-hand, this scene from Luke 4 would have to be it. 

I know it doesn't have the big-screen draw of the parting of the Red Sea or the miraculous overtones of something like the raising of Lazarus from the dead, but consider what this moment represents.

Jesus has: left heaven; checked his royal robes at earth's door and traded them for human flesh; been born to a virgin; been raised as a carpenter's son; grown "in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52); and resisted the temptation of the enemy in the desert. 

Now He's back in His hometown of Nazareth in the synagogue. He stands up to read and is handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He speaks words written centuries before: the job description of a coming Messiah. Then he sits down and, with every eye on Him, declares, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." 

Jesus' audience has heard the words He reads that day many times before, but on this day, they are read by their Subject. They are read by the Messiah who has come to fulfill them.

"Fulfill" has to be one of the loveliest words in all of God's Word. It carries so much completion, rest, peace, and satisfaction with it. I yearn for fulfillment in my life, but often I miss it because I get tripped up two ways: I read the wrong scroll and/or I look to the wrong source to fulfill it.

Jesus could confidently declare, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" because He was reading the right scroll, and He was the right person to fulfill it. He was not reading a scroll about a political king or an earthly ruler; He was reading about a preacher of good news, a healer, a redeemer. And He was able to fulfill the Scripture He was reading because He was—and is—a preacher of good news, a healer, a redeemer.

If I try to read a "scroll" about someone else's life or someone else's calling or God's will for someone else, I will be unfulfilled. And if I look to the wrong source to help me accomplish what God has written on the the scroll that is mine, I will also be unfulfilled.

But if I stick to my scroll and to Jesus as the Source of all I need to accomplish what God lays out for me on it, I'll find the fulfillment my heart and mind are longing for.

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!