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Jesus – good news

The following first century inscription has been found concerning Caesar Augustus: “The most divine Caesar…we should consider equal to the Beginning of all things…for when everything was falling into disorder and tending toward dissolution, he restored it once more and gave the whole world a new aspect; Caesar … the common good Fortune of all …The Beginning of life and vitality … All the cities unanimously adopt the birthday of the divine Caesar as the new beginning of the year… Whereas the Providence which has regulated our whole existence … has brought our life to the climax of perfection in giving to us the emperor Augustus … who being sent to us and our descendants as Savior, has put an end to war and has set all things in order; and whereas, having become God manifest, Caesar has fulfilled all the hopes of earlier times … the birthday of the God Augustus has been for the whole world the beginning of good news concerning him.”

Augustus though is simply a pretender. The real divine man who brings salvation and peace to all the earth is the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Luke 4 Jesus quotes Isaiah to describe his mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The ideas of good news, saving of the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the blind, a jubilee of restoration are all as water to a dry and thirsty land.

Jesus’ hearers in the synagogue in Nazareth initially speak well of him but Jesus warns them that they will reject him. The beneficiaries of Jesus’ Isaiah-ministry will be Gentiles like Namaan the Syrian and the widow from Sidon. This results in the Nazarenes being filled with wrath, driving him out of town, attempting to throw him of a cliff to stone him. Thus, the cross is in the foreground as is the peace that will extend to all nations.