Over the years, a common objection people raised to religion is that, well, it’s pie in the sky. Religion, they think, has some vague promises of benefits in the next life, but it doesn’t do much for a person in this life. That’s really a pity that those of us who call ourselves Christians have allowed people to think of us that way; for if a person comes to understand the words of Jesus, they’ll come away with a totally different perspective.
Take for example one day when Jesus came to a synagogue in Nazareth where he had been brought up. As his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he stood up to read. (As Jesus was a Sabbath keeper, he did not work at his job on the Sabbath and he was in regular attendance at the synagogue. Adult men were allowed to read aloud from the scriptures in the synagogue and it was very important in a time when hardly anyone had even a piece of the Bible of their own and a lot of them couldn’t have read it if they had it.) So, Jesus stood up to read, and there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. When He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has 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.
He closed the book, he handed it back to the minister, and he sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. Something about the way he read it, something about the way he communicated this ancient prophecy, struck people, and he said to them,
This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears. Not tomorrow, not in the next life, right now.