27 January 2019
Nehemiah 8:1–3, 5–6, 8–10
1 Corinthians 12:12–31a
The Lord Is Manifested as Our Savior through the Preaching of the Gospel
When Jesus opens His mouth to preach, gracious words flow from His lips. The Scriptures are, indeed, fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21–22). For Christ was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord “to proclaim good news to the poor,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives” and “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19). By this proclamation, Christ releases His people from captivity and gathers them to Himself in His Church. So it was when the Lord released His people from Babylon and returned them to Jerusalem. “Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people,” sanctified the whole congregation by the reading and preaching of the Law (Neh. 8:8–9). As the people then were urged to “eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready” (Neh. 8:10), so are you anointed by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ to share in His feast and to serve the fellow members of His Body with His good gifts, “giving greater honor to the part that lacked it” (1 Cor. 12:12, 24).