Our Glorious Hope; As I Understand It

After Jesus was tempted by the devil, he taught in synagogues until he reached his "home town" of Nazareth where he had been brought up. As was his custom, on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue and stood up to read. He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah and he found a particular passage. He then read this passage, closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The Bible says that the eyes of all who there were "fixed on Him".

The passage Jesus read was what we know to be Isaiah 61:1 and 2 which says in NKJV:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God."

Everyone in attendance that day knew how this section of Isaiah was to read. Everyone knew that when Jesus read it, as recorded in Luke 4:18 and 19, he did not finish the section. He deliberately omitted the final phrase "and the day of vengeance of our God". For this reason, when he had finished reading, everyone there sat with their eyes "fixed" on Jesus, waiting to hear his explanation for not reading all that was written.

What proceeded out of Jesus' mouth must have absolutely floored those who heard it. After all, this was a man everyone knew. He had grown up in Nazareth and worked in his dad's carpenter shop. He was a very bright kid and his reputation was sterling. No one had anything bad to say about him, but everyone knew who he was, who his family was and pretty much everything about him. The last thing they expected to hear was what came out of his mouth in Luke 4:21:

"And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing".

Jesus, the carpenter's son, had the audacity to tell a synagogue full of his elders and peers that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy they all knew from Isaiah dealt with Israel's Messiah. How dare he claim to be anything other than Joseph's son? Who on earth did he think he was kidding? Everyone there knew he couldn't be the Messiah for they had watched him grow up. They all knew the Messiah was to be a mighty king who would restore Israel's greatness. The Messiah was to usher in the "the day of vengeance of our God", not preach, heal and set oppressed and poor people free.

Jesus did not read that part of Isaiah for that day is still future. There is a day coming when Jesus will return to this earth and set up what is known as the "Millennial Kingdom" or simply put; "The 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth." At this glorious time, all the Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel's glory and prominence on earth will be fulfilled. At this time, Jesus Christ will be the Messiah the Jews had expected, and not the humble baby born in a manger who came the first time.

Israel rejected their Savior because they could not accept his mission in coming was not to set up the "Millennial Kingdom". They failed to read the other sections in Isaiah such as the one Jesus quoted in Luke 4. They failed to read sections such as Isaiah 53 where it was plain that there had to be first a "suffering servant" before there could be a "glorified king". They just could not accept that a baby born in a barn, raised by simple parents in Nazareth and who walked as they walked, talked as they talked and looked as they looked could be the Messiah.

As soon as Jesus said that the scripture was being fulfilled in their hearing, the people started murmuring and saying among themselves, "is this not Joseph's kid?" They were not so much confused, as insulted and offended that "one of their own" would try to pull the wool over their eyes. After Jesus told them outright in verses 23 through 27 that a prophet cannot be accepted in his own country; all those in the synagogue were filled with wrath. In fact, in verses 29 and 30 it says:

"And rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way."

The response of the people Jesus grew up with to His claim of fulfilling Isaiah 61's prophecy was attempted murder. This incident at the very beginning of Jesus earthly ministry provides a bookend to how that ministry ended up at the end. After carrying out the mission He was sent to earth to do, at the end of His ministry, the response was the same as at the beginning. Only this time it was not just "attempted murder" but it was their elimination of this heretic and his blasphemous message.

Jesus did not come the first time to set up His kingdom on earth. He came to fulfill his mission as Savior. He came to be the sacrificial lamb that was slain for our sins. He came a humble servant who willingly gave his life for us all. He came to preach the gospel to the poor. He came to heal the brokenhearted. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives. He came to give sight to the blind. He came to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Jesus came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

There is a time coming very soon when Jesus Christ will return and set up the glorious kingdom so yearned for throughout the Old Testament. There is a time coming very soon known in the Old Testament as "The Day of the Lord". There is a day coming very soon that will be the day of vengeance of our God. There is a day coming very soon when King Jesus will rule this earth from his throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 glorious years. There is a day coming very soon when every knee on earth must bow and every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

I am fully aware that there are many different doctrines regarding this subject. I am fully aware that there are many who believe the kingdom is NOW or has already passed. But, I am also fully aware that of all the topics to have been lost in the early centuries of the church, the subject of the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth was one of the first. The book of Revelation is very clear in chapter 20 about this 1,000 year period. In verses 7 through 10, after the 1,000 years, we see the final attempt by the devil to deceive the world, and his final and complete destruction. We also read in verses 11 and 12 of the "Great White Throne Judgment" that comes after the 1,000 years and after the devil is forever cast into the lake of fire.

After all these glorious events, Revelation 21 and 22 show all the beauty and majesty of the "new heaven and the new earth" and the "new Jerusalem" wherein only dwells righteousness and where God himself will dwell. Revelation 22:4 says that God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, pain or anything that is negative in any way. This is the hope which enabled Abraham to believe. This is the hope that allowed countless martyrs to give their physical lives in service to the Lord. This is the hope that enables any of us to make it through the dark times of life, especially the loss of loved ones.

There is a day coming, very soon, when Christ will come to gather His church in the air. Then there is a day coming soon thereafter when the church returns with Jesus to put an end to the foolishness at Armageddon. There is a day coming directly after these events when Jesus establishes the 1,000 year kingdom on earth so many prophecies in the Old Testament speak of. This glorious 1,000 years is when Israel basks in the glory promised in Isaiah and other Old Testament books.

After the 1,000 years, the devil is loosed for a season and he makes one last attempt to deceive the nations. He fails and is cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever. A great white throne appears and everyone who ever lived that was not raised already is brought before the throne to be judged according to their works and by the things written in the books. Those not written in the book of Life are cast into the lake of fire.

Then, God introduces all of us who believed to the new heaven and the new earth He creates JUST for us and HIM to spend eternity together in. There, in a place too brilliant for words to describe, we will live with our God forever with no sorrow, sickness, death, pain or crying. There, in the New Jerusalem we shall for ever more live in perfect peace, joy and love with our Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Therein is our eternal hope, at least as far as I understand it.

I understand this post might not agree with your beliefs. I do not write it to cause division. I only present this as what I believe from studying this subject for close to 30 years. I pray that if we do not agree, we can still strive for the unity of the faith in the bond of peace. I pray that even if we have different views on the specifics of "end time" events, we still hold in our hearts the same glorious hope of spending eternity in the very presence of our Lord.

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Kirk M

thank you tchable for the kind words and I too look forward to all you mentioned!

John B. Abela

This is a bit on the long side for me to read word-for-word in my busy day, but i did scan it earlier today and what I caught was right-one. Not sure any present-day protestant christian could say otherwise.

Andrea Lynn

I have just been spending time in Revelation and I, too, look forward to all that Tchable wrote. What a glorious hope we have! Blessings! Andrea