Last week in chapel, Jennifer Greer brought us a message based on Luke 4:14-30. In this passage, Jesus traveled to Nazareth, his hometown, and as was his custom, Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to speak. Jesus picked up the scroll, and he began to read from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2 and Isaiah 58:6). Upon doing so, Jesus proclaimed that the scripture had been fulfilled and that this it was the year of Lord’s favor. In this year, “debts would be forgiven, debt slaves would be set free, and the land will be returned to its tribal inheritors.”

The good news proclaimed by Jesus was for those who were poor in honor and poor in power because of injustice; his message was for the foreigner, the Gentile. Those in His hometown were outraged because they had been oppressed under Roman captivity, and they wanted God to act on their behalf; this year of jubilee would require the Israelites to give freedom to slaves and forgive the debts of foreigners.

“Jesus longed for power structures to shift to the lesser than, but it can also include the powerful if they are humble enough to trust him and give freedom…Dare we forget that we were the rejected, and Jesus reached down to accept us. He loved us when we had no ounce of love for him. The rejected have become the accepted; Jesus set us free, and now it is our turn to go and do likewise.”


Jennifer Greer is adjunct professor of Bible at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and serves in various leadership roles at Madison Square CRC (Ford campus). She is a graduate of Auburn University (B.S. Marketing) as well as Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). She and her husband Jonathan have three children.