"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,Luke 4:18(NASB)
For thirty-three years, the God of the universe stepped out of eternity into time. He broke into the timeline of the earth's history as the perfect Man, in order to secure redemption for all who would believe on His name.
He was the anointed One Who would redeem His people, as foretold by the prophets of old. He came as God incarnate – fully God, yet fully Man so that His shed blood would pay the full price of mankind's bottomless swamp of sin.
His claims were authenticated in word and deed, by the fulfilment of every prophecy pertaining to His first coming. He was born of a virgin in the little town of Bethlehem. He was the promised Seed of Abraham, of the house of Judah, and the kingly line of David.
John the Baptist's voice crying in the wilderness would prepare His way, and He would be the Prophet like Moses and be declared 'the Son of God'. He would speak in parables and be praised by children. He would be a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and He would be called a Nazarene.
He would be a light in Galilee, heal the broken-hearted, and set captives free. He would be falsely accused, betrayed by one of His own, led as a lamb to the slaughter, and yet would not open His mouth to defend Himself.
He would be crucified with criminals and have His hands and feet pierced. He would rise from the dead and, in so doing, break the power of sin and Satan, death and hell, for all who would trust in Him.
And early in His ministry, He stood up in His hometown synagogue to declare, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed."
Jesus pronounced the fulfilment of this ancient prophecy from Isaiah, and the people there wondered at the gracious words that fell from His lips, yet they sought to slay Him for they could not accept the truth – but He passed through their midst, for His time had not yet arrived.
Although Jesus was rejected in His hometown of Nazareth and an attempt was made to kill Him, He fulfilled this and many more astounding ancient prophecies, over the course of His life.
The Spirit of God was indeed upon Him, for He submitted to the leading of the Spirit throughout His life, spoke only those things He heard from the Father, carried out His Father's will, and fulfilled every prophecy relating to His first advent.
He did preach the good news of salvation to the poor, proclaiming freedom from sin, Satan, death, and hell – by faith in Him. He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and loosed the tongue of the mute. He raised the dead, turned water into wine, fed multitudes of men and freed those who were oppressed through the good news that He came to bring – and He gave His life as the ransom price for the sin of the world on a wooden cross, two thousand years ago.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent the Lord Jesus to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to captives and recovery of sight the blind. I confess that I am poor and needy. I too was captive to sin and Satan and was spiritually blind and dead in my trespasses and sin. Thank You that in Your grace You redeemed me from the pit, reached down and saved me from my captivity, and opened my eyes to the truth of Your Word. Thank You that by Christ's death and Resurrection, I am a new person and have His Spirit within – to lead, to guide, to protect, and to teach me in the way that I should go. May I keep My eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
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