Now let’s examine the problem of abusive control from a biblical perspective. Let’s see how Jesus managed to remove Himself from people who sought to abusively control Him: And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being gloriﬁed of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulﬁlled in your ears. (Luke 4:13–21)
Roberts Liardon tells us that this is an interesting story. Jesus knew His destiny. He knew His call to the earth. But He didn’t advertise it before it was time; He kept it to Himself and developed it. Jesus went through His wilderness experience and won. (See Luke 4:1–13.) Most people go into their wilderness and stay there. They do not get very far when faced with trials and temptation. The ﬁrst time the devil tells them they can’t succeed, they agree. “That’s right,” they say, and sit down in defeat and despair. God, however, is looking for ﬁghters, not weak kneed, wishy washy Christians. The world has seen enough of those people.
Roberts Liardon tells us that after Jesus had emerged victorious from His wilderness experience, He walked back to His hometown, Nazareth, the place where He had grown up, and entered the synagogue. This was where His parents had gone to “church.” It was where the rabbis had trained Him as a boy. Jesus had learned many good things from the leader of that synagogue. That day, when the rabbi handed the scrolls to Jesus, He opened them and read Isaiah 61:1–2. But Jesus did not read this prophecy as a normal man would read it as something the people expected to take place in the future. Jesus read the prophetic message as if it applied to Him because it did!