And he began to say (hrxato de legein). Aorist ingressive active indicative and present infinitive. He began speaking. The moment of hushed expectancy was passed. These may or may not be the first words uttered here by Jesus. Often the first sentence is the crucial one in winning an audience. Certainly this is an arresting opening sentence. Hath been fulfilled (peplhrwtai). Perfect passive indicative, stands fulfilled. "Today this scripture ( Isaiah 61:1Isaiah 61:2 , just read) stands fulfilled in your ears." It was a most amazing statement and the people of Nazareth were quick to see the Messianic claim involved. Jesus could only mean that the real year of Jubilee had come, that the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah had come true today, and that in him they saw the Messiah of prophecy. There are critics today who deny that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. To be able to do that, they must reject the Gospel of John and all such passages as this one. And it is no apocalyptic eschatological Messiah whom Jesus here sets forth, but the one who forgives sin and binds up the broken-hearted. The words were too good to be true and to be spoken here at Nazareth by one of their own townsmen!