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Why didn't Jesus finish the reading?

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Did you know…

…that Jesus didn't finish the last verse of the reading? In this week's gospel it says that Jesus stood up in the synagogue and was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to read out loud to the gathered crowd. He then chose a passage and read it to them. The passage he chose was Isaiah 61:1-2:

"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and release to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God"

But Jesus ends the reading early. Instead of reading the entire last line he stops half way through, rolls up the scroll, and sits down. He loudly proclaims "the year of the Lord's favor," and then completely leaves off "the day of vengeance of our God." At least some of the people gathered there that day must have noticed the omission. I wonder what they thought about it. Why do you think Jesus left it out?

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