Proclaiming God’s Favor

Proclaiming God’s Favor June 23, 2016

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Proclaiming God’s Favor

June 23, 2016

Isaiah 61:1-3

Isaiah is a miniature version of the Bible. There are sixty-six chapters, just as there are sixty-six books in the Bible. The first thirty-nine speak of God’s judgment (like the Old Testament), the last 27 speaks of God’s love (like the New Testament).

Isaiah 61:1-3 is about proclaiming God’s favor. The verses speak about a Person (the Messiah) who has been anointed by God. You can even notice that the verse begins with the Trinity: “the Spirit”, “the Lord God”, and “Me.” This confirms that the Person of which this chapter speaks is Jesus. The verses describe the scope of Jesus’ mission.

First, there is the WHO of His mission (Isaiah 61:1-2):

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn,” (Isaiah 61:1–2, HCSB)

The broken-hearted

The poor

The captives

The prisoners

These are the people for whom Jesus was sent. He was sent to everyone who is hurting during this Christmas season.

Then, there is the WHAT of His mission. This is to “set people free” (Isaiah 61:1).

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;” (Isaiah 61:1, HCSB)

That is what the Good News does. It heals, it liberates, it frees, it comforts, it provides, it gives beauty, it shares resplendence, it plans righteousness to glorify God.

Then,, there is the WHY of His mission.  God has sent Jesus to finish what God planned for His people (Isaiah 61:1).

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;” (Isaiah 61:1, HCSB)

In Leviticus 25, we see that God provided a temporary plan to provide for His people. It was called the Sabbath, which was a way for people to give honor to Him. It culminates in the “Jubilee Year.” This is when debts were forgiven, families were restored, and freedom was granted, temporarily. The Jubilee Year would happen once every fifty years. The reason was so that each successive generation could experience freedom. Otherwise, there could be the potential for economic slavery of one tribe over another. There could be the potential for the rich to rule the poor, the 1% to control the 99%. Instead, God wanted people to fall under His leadership, and not the leadership of an economic dictator. That’s why it is called a day of God’s vengeance.

“to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn,” (Isaiah 61:2, HCSB)

This brings us to the WHEN.

Jesus brought the good news at His first coming. He proclaimed the Year of Jubilee, or the year of the Lord’s favor at that time. When He returns a second time, He will bring about the day of God’s vengeance (Isaiah 61:2).

“to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn,” (Isaiah 61:2, HCSB)

People will pay for not accepting the Good News.

The HOW is simple. Jesus brings the Good News. We only have to accept it (Isaiah 61:1).

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;” (Isaiah 61:1, HCSB)

As Isaiah 61:3 describes, we are the soil, and God plants the righteousness into our hearts.

“to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him.” (Isaiah 61:3, HCSB)

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