Good News of Liberation without Distinction

Date: 10 Apr 2022

Sermon Text: Luke 4:14-44

Speaker: Pastor Luwin Wong

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Rejoice in the Liberating news of Jesus (4:16-19)

The fifth of May is a big day in Holland. On that day, the Dutch celebrate Liberation Day. Because in May 5th, 1945, Holland was liberated from Nazi Occupation during WWII, after 5 brutal years of hardship, hunger and oppression.

Liberation day mark a full day activity throughout the Netherlands. It begins with a 5th of May lecture by an invited speaker, impressing upon the nation on how precious freedom is, and how it cannot be taken for granted.

It is followed by festivals. These Liberation Festivals taking place across the country, there is at least one major festival held in each of the Netherlands 12 provincial capitals. There will be music and activities relating to the theme of freedom. They will have meals called freedom feasts. And this year’s freedom feast menu includes a freedom soup, a celebrity chef created its recipe just for the occasssion. These liberation festivals have grown to become the largest single-day cultural event in the country.

And then the day concludes with a huge concert featuring the best of Dutch performing artists.

But what I perhaps ought to mention, is that Liberation Day is really the second half of a two-day event. On May 4th, the Dutch commemorate Remembrance Day. On that day, they remember all the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom. At 8pm, on Remembrance Day, the entire country is silent for two minutes. You will not be out shopping at the time because all shops are required by law to close at 7pm on 4th of May, so that the country can honor that two-minute silence. International football matches and even concerts will halt for two-minutes at 8pm sharp. Trains stop, buses stop, traffic comes to a standstill. If you are in public, you too stop and stand still.

Remembrance Day is serious, it is solemn, it is culturally sacred. And then it gives way to music and dancing and eating and drinking on Liberation Day. Because you celebrate good news. And liberation is such good news.

In our text today, Jesus sees his ministry as one of liberation.

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. — Luke 4:14-15

Jesus began his public ministry by preaching. He went around the synagogues, which is basically Jewish church, and taught in the synagogue. And Luke reports that he was glorified by all.

I once told a friend that Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the Prince of Preachers. She responded, “Oh, who’s the king?” Jesus. Jesus is the king of preachers. In fact, if it has anything to do with Christianity, the king is Jesus. I hope we all get that by now.

But even if he’s the king of preachers, why would they glorify him for this teaching? If someone glorified me for my preaching (not that I’m in any danger of that), then surely something is amiss, surely sound preaching would lead the listener to glorify God, rather than the speaker. But they glorified him.

So what was he saying? The following verses tell us:

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been bro