One of my favorite moments in human history occurs in Luke 4:15-21:
(Jesus was teaching in their synagogues, & everyone praised him. )
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Wow! God came down in human form, sat in the synagogue he was used to teaching in, & revealed to His people that He had come, to bring His favor & freedom for all.
Heaven intersected earth and declared His intention of loving & freeing His children.
Jesus was anointed for such a time as that to announce it is now such a time as this!
Freedom is calling out…
*speaking good news to the poor
*healing those who hurt
*freeing all captives
*pardoning all prisoners
*proclaiming the year of God’s grace
*celebrating God’s win over the enemy
*caring & comforting the mourners, giving them living bouquets, messages of joy, praising hearts, a new name: Oaks of Righteousness, whom He planted to show His glory on display!
*a rebuilding is on the horizon, a new city will arise. You will bring in outsiders & immigrants to work along side you, but you will be My Ministers. The bounty of nations will be your feast, they will show you their favor.
*a double dose of inheritance will be yours for all your troubles
*your joy will go on forever
My question for you today is simple. Do you believe it?
Jesus lived this out every day when He followed where His Father & the Spirit led Him to go. He spoke His words, revealed His heart, healed His beloved, fed His people, love on display.
Do you believe He wants to do this for you? In the here and now?
I believe God chose this scripture for a particular reason. It was a comforting verse for the Jews, and one they dreamed of their coming Messiah fulfilling.
And He has, just not in the form they all could recognize.
If the Jesus & God you believe in couldn’t possibly mean all this verse contains? You either are looking through broken glasses, or have forgotten who it is you are following.
This Easter, take a closer look at Jesus. See how He lived, breathed, healed, spoke, prayed, taught, loved, cried, cared for the lowly, fed the flock, comforted those grieving, raised the dead, followed the heavy path to the cross.
The whole Word of God came to life when Jesus walked among us, and announced He was here.
Our Risen Jesus is still with us, and this Word of blessing is still His intention for His children.
He wants His people free.
Renewed, rebuilt, full of joy.
Our part is two fold.
1. To believe He is who He says He is, and wants to show us such grace & blessing.
2. To come to Him, and tell Him we believe.
The rest is up to Him. Our freedom is based upon His actions, not ours beyond drawing close and listening for His direction. He is more than capable of doing ALL we need for our full freedom release!
His list of blessings and hope and love and grace and mercy for each of us?
Mind blowing with His intention for our complete restoration!
Freedom is calling…
Do you believe,
will you come?
The full version of Isaiah 61:1-7 in the Message version is posted below. Some time reading familiar words in a different way helps us to capture nuances we might otherwise miss. I try to read passages in 2-3 versions so I can get a good handle on the overall story before digging in for the nuggets they hold for me now!
Announce Freedom to All Captives
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—and to comfort all who mourn, to care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,” honored as ministers of our God. You’ll feast on the bounty of nations, you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.