Here we see the beginning of Jesus ministry where he speaks of the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah. The prophecy said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Verse 18-19)
There are several messages in these words, but there are two things that strike me most. First that this is a high level description of the role that Jesus was to play and the ministry he had come to give. And second, the underlying basis or principle of his ministry was about freedom and liberty.
At a high level we see in this scripture that Jesus came because he was anointed to preach good news to the poor. His gospel is good news to all of mankind, and certainly in a spiritual sense we are all poor. He also came to provide the recovery of sight to the blind and once again, not only to those who cannot see, but also to those who are spiritually blind. His word opens our eyes to the things of God which are not perceived by man. His truth opens our eyes to understand the things and the ways of God that will lead us to eternal life.
And in terms of liberty we see this message repeated time and time again throughout the scriptures. Consider the scriptures as examples like:
“The truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) “…and having been set free from sin…” (Rom 6:18) “Now we are discharged from the law.” (Rom 7:6) And there are many, many more.
The very essence of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is freedom. He came that we may be set free from everything to do with this life. Man is born under great bondages; bondage to sin, bondage to law, bondage to the evil passions and desire of the flesh and bondage to death. Just look at the state of the world today and it is clear that man is in bondage to all manner of destructive devices, attitudes and passions that lead to his destruction.
But Christ appeared so that all of these and other bondages could be removed. He came to set you free. He came to “…proclaim release to the captives and … to set at liberty those who are oppressed,” as mentioned in the prophecy of Isaiah. All of us are those who are in need of release from bondage and who are in oppression. Many may not believe they are in oppression, but every person on this earth is under a ruler whose desire is to destroy. The ruler of this world who has power over all the things of this world is Satan as mentioned in my previous post. Satan is not interested in the welfare and comfort of men. His purpose is to deceive and destroy mankind as he is the great opposer of God. It is God’s will for all of mankind to find salvation, but they will not as many will be deceived and taken by Satan to their ultimate destruction.
Jesus came to proclaim release from Satan’s clutches. He offers us life into eternity if we follow in his ways. His great offer to us is peace that we do not have in this world. A slave is not at peace, only a free man can find peace. Jesus came to make all off us free men and women so that he could bestow on us the gifts and inheritance of God. Look to him for your salvation and find the freedom he is giving to you without cost.
(Picture sourced from stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/ taken by Joy Freschly)