Sometimes when a Bible passage is very familiar, longtime Christians will read over it quickly without looking deeper into it. That can mean missing something God is saying. Isaiah 61 begins with a passage that is well-known because it is one that Jesus quoted a portion of in Luke 4:18-19 as He began His ministry. He told the people in the synagogue at Nazareth that that very day the scripture had been fulfilled. But Jesus was not only not accepted in the place where He had grown up, He was kicked out of town.
Let’s not miss the message. Let’s not miss the healing, encouragement or salvation the way the people of Nazareth did and dismiss our Savior. Let’s dig in. Verses 1-2 read,
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;”
We know this is about Jesus, because He said so Himself. He quoted it but stopped as He got to “and the day of vengeance…” He stopped there because that part of the prophecy was not yet fulfilled by Him. That part is coming when He returns. The day of vengeance will send the enemy and all of his followers into hell, destroy the earth and everything and everyone on it, and make a New Heaven and a New Earth. But let’s step back a moment and look at the rest of it.
The Spirit of the Lord God, The Holy Spirit was on Jesus from the time of His Baptism until death on the cross. Now The Holy Spirit is given freely to every Believer. He comes into us, fills us, guides us, comforts us, transforms us and gifts us. Just as Jesus was anointed or chosen, set aside, and made holy for His ministry on earth we are too. He was not anointed with oil to make Him sacred, He was anointed with God Himself, the Spirit of the Lord.
Believer, you are anointed with the Spirit and by the Spirit as well. You were given gifts and talents. You were given people and circumstances in your life. You were made to serve God in a beautiful and specific way that no one else on this Earth was made like. He consecrated you. He made you righteous. Not so you could sit back and think about your goodness or even God’s goodness, but so you could go out and bring good news to the poor, bind up the broken hearted, and proclaim liberty to the captives.
Jesus didn’t live die and rise from death so you could have a monthly breakfast with your Sunday school class and invite the lost to the latest Kirk Cameron movie. There is nothing wrong with either of those things, but He made you for more!
There are people out there lost and dying and they have no idea. You can tell them the wonderful news that they do not have to wander aimlessly anymore. There are despairing dejected people out there that think there is no such thing as real love. You can show them Love is real, you can let Jesus heal them and bring them joy. There are people in slavery to sin, following the prince of this world and they don’t know how to take the shackles off. Some people think they are in chains when the truth is, they are free but afraid to step out of their prison and into the freedom Jesus gave them. You can declare to those in slavery whether imagined or real that Salvation is theirs. You can open the prison doors and let them know that Jesus wants to be their King and Lord and His freedom is perfect. Jesus did these things while He was on earth. He does them now through you because He gave you His awesome Spirit. One day He is coming back and He will declare His favor over you and all those who are sealed with the Holy Spirit. He will finish the war against the prince of this world and then you will be comforted forever. Your reward will be complete.
Jesus made it possible for you to live the life He made for you. The Holy Spirit is in you! His power, His love, His wisdom, and His peace are in you. You can live a life that brings good news, heals, and liberates.