The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

29 January
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Jesus’ Mission Statement – Luke 4:14-19

Luke 4:14-19  – Listen

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.  16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The Redeemed Mind – Learn

After successfully facing off against Satan in the wilderness, Jesus begins his public ministry.  And according to His custom, He would teach the Jews in the synagogue on Sabbath worship times.  Out of everything He could have quoted from the entire Book of Isaiah, He chose Isaiah 61:1-2a.  During Jesus’ time, this passage was clearly linked to the long awaited “Messiah” from heaven who would lead God’s people into a time of peace and prosperity.  Jesus clearly identifies Himself as the anointed Redeemer from Heaven whom God has sent on a rescue mission to save those who have been tormented by sin and death in this world.  In a very real sense, Jesus identifies this passage as His mission statement.

The Redeemed Heart – Worship

When I look back at the reference that Jesus reads from, I’s surprised to see just how selective He was in reading the passage.  According to the translations I have, Jesus stops reading in the middle of a sentence (verse 2).  And I think He does that for a reason.  Sometimes we get upset with God because we know that He loves us and is in control of our lives, yet we go through seasons where it doesn’t feel like God loves or cares about us, and many times we feel like life is so chaotic its outside of His control.  Yet I think Jesus speaks to this dilemma.

The rest of the Isaiah passage reads, “…and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Jesus fully understood His mission to be the beginning of His work – to take back His creation from the “prince of this world.”  And some glorious day when we see Jesus’ Second Advent to our world, I imagine He will once again read to us from the Book of Isaiah.  When He returns to wipe away ever tear, end our suffering and pain, and bring justice to the nations, then He will read to us the the next phrases of this ancient prophecy.  But until that beautiful day, we must wait in hope knowing that our suffering and pain in this chaotic world is only temporary.  One day Jesus Himself will be our Comforter, Shepherd, and King.

The Redeemed Life – Grow

As Christians in our world today, we have been given the honor of carrying on Jesus’ ministry to the world around us.  As you read the Isaiah passage again, do you see those who are “blind,” “oppressed” and “captive” all around you?  The people Jesus came to set free were those who have been burdened by the world and blinded from seeing the freedom that Jesus offers.  As a Christian, you are not able to sit on the sidelines watching God work around you.  He has chosen you to be a messenger of His Good News to those who so desperately need Jesus in their lives.

Take some time today and pray that God opens your eyes to see the people He has placed in your life.  Perhaps its a co-worker who has been through a rough relationship.  Perhaps its a friend who doesn’t see the mess they’ve made of their own lives because they are seeking happiness in all the wrong places.  Perhaps its a family member who is enslaved to the false belief that success and fame will bring them a sense of purpose and happiness.  Whoever God has entrusted to you, be bold and pray for them.  Follow what God prompts you to do, whether that’s just being with them, acknowledging their pain, or speaking to them about God.  God is ready to use you just like He used Jesus.  Are you ready to follow Him?

 
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