Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Ministry of the Anointed

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Comment

When Jesus started his earthly ministry after having been tested for 40 days in the wilderness, he went to the Synagogue and read this very passage from the prophet Isaiah. (Luke 4:17-19) Then he said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:21 "Christ" means "The Anointed". But what was He anointed to do? Certainly He was the sacrifice Lamb - sacrificed to atone for sin. But recognize also that much of Jesus' earthly ministry was devoted to preaching and healing. That was why in particular He was anointed with the Spirit of God. Now if you claim to walk as Jesus did, and if you claim to have the Spirit of God, then what is the purpose that God has anointed you with the Spirit of God? It's for the purpose of ministry.

Notice the characteristics of his earthly mission. Notice the categories of people who are singled out:

The Poor
The Brokenhearted
The Captives
All who Mourn and those who grieve in Zion
These were his target audience. Certainly he gave some consideration to the self-righteous but that was secondary to his main mission as he said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Lk 5:31,32 There's virtue in being brokenhearted, mourning and grieving over sin, but not in a worldly sense. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." 2Cor 7:10 The good news is of little value to those who reckoned themselves healthy and wealthy. For such people are often deceived about their circumstances. Yet don't all have a common destiny? Don't all die? Won't all be held accountable for what they have done? Jesus even warned some Christians saying, "You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Rev 3:17  God is gracious to those who humble themselves.

But while one must bow in humility to enter through the gate, God does not leave us in such a state but lifts our head and heart to rejoice in freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Freedom from death; Freedom from sin; and Freedom to enter into His presence blameless with great joy.


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