December 23, 2021 – Thursday
Luke 4:18-19 NIV
18 “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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The above is Jesus reading (I know the red lettering gave it away) in the synagogue on the Sabbath day in Nazareth from the prophet Isaiah (v16-17). See the actual verse at Isaiah 61:1. After His reading of the scripture, Jesus gave the scroll to an attendant and sat down, then He said, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
If you read further into this chapter, you will find Jesus infuriated the people of Nazareth and they even attempted to throw Him off a cliff. Of course they were unsuccessful as He walked right through the crowd and went on His way (v30).
On December 21, 2012 I posted the Verse of the Day for today on Facebook of all places with the following comments (and again today), most of which I am sure I gathered from some commentaries.
Isaiah gives voice to the future Messiah, the Christ who is none other than Jesus. Anointing someone with oil is easily understood as appointing that person to a position with God’s approval. In this case the spirit of God did the anointing. In Isaiah’s prophecy here, the Messiah to come tells us He will take care of five areas damaged by sin.
1 To preach the gospel to the poor: Sin impoverishes, and the Messiah will bring good news to the poor.
2 To heal the brokenhearted: Sin breaks hearts, and the Messiah has good news for brokenhearted.
3 To proclaim liberty to the captives: Sin makes people captive and enslaves them, and the Messiah has come to set them free.
4 Recovery of sight to the blind: Sin blinds us, and the Messiah has come to heal our spiritual and moral blindness.
5 To set at liberty those who are oppressed: Sin oppresses its victims, and the Messiah comes to bring liberty to the oppressed.
What I liked about this is that it was all about sin and the problems sin causes. It was not about politics as so many have tried to make it about that and that alone. But it is sin Jesus came to address, not politics. Sure, politics can make us poor, even brokenhearted, improperly captive, blind to right and wrong, and certainly oppressed. That was all around in Roman occupied Israel. But Jesus was on a mission to free people from the chains of sin. Especially when He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins.
There is plenty of Jesus teachings we may apply to politics, but we need to always remember He came to free us from sin and pay the price, the ransom, for the sin of each and every one of us. He did that so that we would have the opportunity to go to Heaven by A) admitting we are sinners and repenting of our sin, B) believing He died for our sins and rose on the third day, and C) calling on Him as our Lord and Savior. We do this in faith or out of faith. Paul put it this way in Romans 10:10, For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved and this way in Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Bottom Line: We have a great deal to celebrate on Christmas Day when our Savior was born in the flesh, come to save us as He fulfilled Isaiah 61.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Son as He fulfilled prophecy after prophecy to save us from the chains of our sins. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek