The jews in Jesus time felt like this….They had waited for so long and lived in expectation for generations.For a long long time they were still looking for a messiah, waiting for a saviour, a deliverer. For hundreds of a years there had been a promise of such yet still they waited. Immagine waiting for something promised to someone hundreds of years agao. Yet the yearning for favour can feel that long! You have this ache in your heart for deilverance, you long for freedom and you long for a saviour but it feels like you have been waiting forever. You may know him as your saviour but what about the freedom promised, what about that promise that he gave you and there’s been no fulfillment …just the longing?
Luke 4: 20-21
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
What scripture is Jesus talking about?
When Jesus stands up in the synagogue one ordinary day and reads the scroll handed to him…he is given a passage in Isaiah…It recalls to his listeners the promise… Jesus stands and declares the truth of what will happen when a Messiah comes….He desribes in Isaiah’s words the beauty and richness of what the favour of God and the freedom promised will be like. He first of all draws their attention to their longing. He brings their minds back to what it is they are longing and waiting for. They look at him wide eyed and expectant. His response had profound meaning to our existance as believers reading this today….They knew what he meant. They knew that that passage was a declaration about the coming Messiah…all that they had hoped in their Saviour had come. For generations the promise has been just a promise….a Messiah would come… a Saviour would come….. a deliverer would come…. favour is coming….. freedom is coming…year in…year out…a promise of favour ….every now and again the jewish people would experience snippets of what it would be like to know that sort of favour …then one ordinary day Jesus steps up and says …it is NOW!!! Those words `fulfilled this very day’ took effect on your life 2000 years ago….the favour is of God came to your life when Jesus made that declaration. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of favour to your life.
The favour of God is central to the gospel …if we don’t get that, we are missing something fundemental to how we live our lives as Christians. The favour of God is not something we need to wait for…it is fundemental to how you walk, fundemental to your calling, to your service, to your leadership, to your marriage, to you work ethic, to your understanding of relationships and to your heart being made whole….to the way you live everyday… The favour of God is not something we hope for …ti is something we need revealed to us. Jesus spent the next three years showing his followers and his disciples what the favour of God was, felt like, looked like, and sounded like. What the jews were looking for was not what they got…they were looking for a Messiah who would get rid of their persecuters and oppressors, their temporary suffering under the hand of the Roman rule and give them back their nation and their rights to be thier own people. Instead he ushered in a different sort of kingdom and and far greater level of freedom. They didn’t want that …they wanted something differnet and they crucified him. We know that it lead to a cruel cross where Jesus broke the power of sin and death and rose again to give us the reality of that promise.
Up until then the favour of God was on a special group of people called the jews. Up until then God had hand picked and shown favour to individuals to pour his favour through. Now Jesus bought in a new dispensation…it was a covenant that made his favour and freedom available not just for a special people but for you! His favour is available because Jesus made it available. He created a way for us to access the favour of God. We were bound by our limitations, to the curse of the law….when we feel we come short it is because we fall short…. Wihtout Jesus, the favour of God is not available to you because you would never be worthy enough, good enough or the right race or people group. Wihtout Jesus we get locked into a prison of our own failings, weakness and sin. We need a saviour a Messiah, a deliverer just like the jews needed one. Isaiah promised a time would come when prisoners would be released, captives set free and favour would come. There is no way you could be good enough to earn the favour of God…..that is why favour came to us…in the form of a man. Paul spends much of time in the New Testament describing this amazing mystery …that what Jesus did was to give us gentiles access to God’s favour through one man…Jesus Christ.
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you.
So what are you waiting for? His favour came over 2000 years ago and there is only one criteria….believe what Jesus says about himself is true….Jesus made the favour of God available to you! The favour of God is what you find in the person and work of Jesus Christ…the promised Messiah…and he lives in you!
It is through Jesus I have accesss to the Father….that gives me the confidence to pray…knowing that when I come to the Father he sees me with favour. The answers to my prayers are evidence of the favour of God. His favour gives me confidence to pray! To expect his favour to be poured out on me as I cry out to him. I don’t have to go to a priest…the favour of God has given me access to the presence of God and I can come boldly! The favour of God is found in Jesus power to forgive. No one can make my heart clean. If I could forgive myself there would be no need for Jesus. His favour enables me to ask for forgiveness and to receive it. Favour means that Jesus is the reason why there is no condemantion. It is through Jesus you have power to overcome hurt, rejection, fear, insecurity, confusion, frustration…. It is through Jesus you have breakthrough; it is through faith in Jesus you can deal with temptation. It is the favour of God that helps you endure and persevere; it is through Jesus that the past is broken and you can begin a new life; it is thorugh Jesus you can break free from lies and things spoken over you; it is through Jesus that we can walk in authority. Is it Jesus who gave you authority to set captives free, deliver the oppressed, bring heaven to earth. it is through the power of the cross that you can experience the good news and share it with others….
So what has this go to do with the Sisterhood and Sistrhood weekly….As long as you wait …or believe that the favour of God is out of your reach…THEY too will wait.. What are THEY waiting for??? they are waiting for you to walk in that favour by faith because in doing so you allow his favour to our through you. As long as you wait so do THEY….That girl at work, that husband of yours, your kids, your Dad, your neighbour, your church, your school…. So what are THEY waiting for… THEY are waiting for you! The favour of God is for them as much as it is for you. Stop making excuses, stop living in fear, stop holding back and start walking in the favour of God! This year you will start believeing that you are walking in the favour of God…..it will change how you pray, how you love and how you live….it’s time to start believing…As long as you wait ..so will they!
If you missed my Sunday Message on Favour click on the link: http://www.hillschurch.com.au/mp3s/HCLC20120212-PsJennyMazey-Favour.mp3