Yesterday, I began to summarize the mission of Jesus in light of the mission of God in the Old Testament. I based my discussion on a passage from chapter 4 of Luke’s gospel. Here’s that passage, once again:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come (Luke 4:18-19).
On the basis of this text, which is a citation from Isaiah 61, I explained that:
1. Jesus was sent by God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Jesus was sent to proclaim the good news.
Today I’ll continue where I left off yesterday.
Third, Jesus was sent to enact the good news.
Jesus practiced what He preached. As a part of his announcement of God’s coming kingdom, Jesus proclaimed release for the captives, seeing for the blind, and freedom for the oppressed. He backed up his audacious proclamations with compelling demonstrations. Those in bondage to demonic powers were set free (Luke 4:33-35). The sick were made well and the blind given sight (Luke 7:21-22). Jesus liberated those who were bound by social injustice and prejudice (Mark 7:24-30; Luke 5:12-15; 7:36-50; 8:43-48; 10:38-42; 19:1-10). Even as he called his followers to love their neighbors and their enemies (Luke 6:35; 10:27), Jesus also loved with exemplary compassion (Matt 9:36; Mark 10:21; Luke 7:13). He not only spoke of God’s reign, but also embodied that reign in his own person and ministry. Where Jesus was, there was the kingdom of God (Luke 17:21). His enactment of the kingdom demonstrated the validity of his preaching, and drew thousands to hear his good news. It showed that the coming of the kingdom was focused in him, his proclamation, his ministry, and his person.