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Jesus Twisting Scriptures?
by David Wells
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April 26, 2012 Ė Jesus Twisting Scripture?

17 And there was given to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. Ė Luke 4:17-19 AMP

When Jesus first began His earthly ministry in Galilee, He found Himself one Sabbath day in familiar surroundings. He returned to Nazareth, the town where He grew up in the care of His mother Mary and her husband Joseph. During the worship service in the synagogue, Jesus was handed a scroll of the Book of Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll then read verses eighteen and nineteen of todayís passage. Then He sat down, plainly looked out at the congregation, and told them that the words He read had been fulfilled before their very eyes.

The whole story is well known in Christian circles. Jesus angered those in attendance so much that they tried to throw Him off a cliff. Imagine the surprise of the angry mob when they discovered they had been given the slip. Houdini himself couldnít have gotten free from that one.

As profound an impact as Jesus had that day in Nazareth, I began to wonder about the words Jesus read from Isaiah. So I naturally looked it up. Imagine my shock at discovering that Jesus left out some of the passage He read from. Now pardon me for jumping to conclusions, but I am a stickler for pastors and teachers in present day taking part of a Scripture and building a doctrine out of it. And lo and behold, here is Jesus, my Savior, reading only a portion of a Scripture and stopping cold turkey in the midst of the reading. Here is the passage in its entirety, with a {} added to mark the place where Jesus stopped in his reading.

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted: He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] {}and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion Ė to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit Ė that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Ė Isaiah 61:1-3 AMP

Why did Jesus stop? Why did He only choose the part He did? Before I answer that question let me ask this one. Why do teachers of the Word pick and choose portions of Scripture to meet their own ends today?

I think many times present day pastors, evangelists, and teachers alike twist the Word of God to meet their own ends. Some like to play the game of spirituality without actually following the precepts of Scripture themselves. Such watering down of the Word has led to such things as homosexual pastors, extramarital affairs, and even extortion of money from the coffers of the church. It is almost as if those in charge of flocks in some circumstances have adopted a have your cake and eat it too attitude. Books have been written on this subject alone. If youíve never read, one, I urge you to do so. You could find that you have actually participated in the games played by these teachers at one time or another over the years. Iím not saying that all teachers and churches are like this; Iím just saying to always keep on your guard so that you donít fall into their schemes.

But Jesus didnít do any of that. Jesus stopped in the midst of the Isaiah prophecy because thatís what happened during His earthly ministry. He did preach the Gospel. He did set the captives free. He did heal the brokenhearted. As for all the other stuff; well, none of it has happened yet.

Only when Jesus returns in the clouds with the troops of heaven to win the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19) will the rest of Isaiahís prophecy unfold. The day of the Battle of Armageddon will be the day of Godís vengeance. Mourning will be replaced by joy. Heavy burdens will be replaced with praise. And the God of heaven will be glorified as Jesus begins His thousand year reign on earth.

So did Jesus twist Scripture? No way. Much of the Bible is about Him either literally or prophetically. He didnít twist a thing. I think it would be best to call what He did in Nazareth a prophetic pause. He told the audience in His hometown exactly what was happening as it was happening. And just like many Jews of that day, He was rejected. They couldnít see the way to salvation because of the many laws and rules in front of their face.

As for those modern day teachers who like to twist things to get their own way, remember one thing. They are not Jesus. When they read and give their own personal interpretation of the Bible, they can never be talking about themselves like Jesus was. Jesus is the Word. Those other guys are just seeking a means to an end

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Bea Edwards  26 Apr 2012
Well written thoughtful article Thanks!


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