Jesus was called and anointed to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison to those who were bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all who mourn.
Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
As the body of Christ we have been called and anointed to continue the ministry of Jesus. We are the physical body that He has chosen to work through. As Jesus in this world we are to do the things that Jesus did and even do greater things.
John 14:12 NKJV
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
I. TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS TO THE POOR
Preach means to speak publicly on a religious subject, to give earnest advice, and to recommend strongly. Christians are to speak publicly about Jesus Christ and the Good News (good tidings). They are to be informative concerning spiritual things. The light that God has given us should not be hidden.
Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and
it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Believers are to give earnest advice based on the Word of God and strongly recommend that it is followed. They must know what they believe and why they believe it. We must know why we have hope in Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:15a NKJV
“…and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…”
II. TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED
During His ministry, when Jesus healed someone, He made them whole, sound, or well. He removed from them everything bad. In Isaiah we are told that it is by the stripes that Jesus took that we are healed today.
Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus has already paid the price for our healing. It is up to us to take the authority over evil. Heal means to make whole, sound, or well; to be free from anything bad; to get rid of anything bad.
Believers are to take authority over evil on behalf of others. We are to be used by God to bring healing to those that are crushed by sorrow or grief (brokenhearted).
III. TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES
To make known (declare) publicly and officially is to proclaim.
Liberty is a condition of being free; freedom from captivity, imprisonment, or slavery.
A captive is someone who is held against their will, prisoner, or someone owned and controlled by another.
Christians are to publicly declare to those who are being held against their will and controlled by sin and Satan that they have been made free by Jesus Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice paid from their freedom in full. When a person is held in spiritual bondage (slavery) they can not break away from it on their own. They must be set free by someone else. Jesus gave His very own blood as a payment for our freedom.
John 8:36 NKJV
“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abides in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’ ”
Galatians 5:1 NKJV
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
IV. TO OPEN THE PRISON TO THOSE WHO ARE BOUND
Open means letting anyone in or out; not shut; not closed; not having its gate, window or door closed; not closed or confined; not taken; unfilled; free; exposed; exposed to general view, knowledge, etc.; not hidden or secret; not obstructed; not prejudiced.
A prison is a place where criminals are confined; jail; any place where a person is held against their will; captivity or confinement; imprisonment.
Bound means under obligation; tied down by circumstance; tied fast; fastened.
By sharing the gospel with those that are bound by sin we are providing a door for their escape. The gospel will reveal their condition and provide them with knowledge. God’s Word will bring light into their life and expose the plans of Satan. It will also reveal to them the wonderful plan that God has for them. By turning to Jesus they will find freedom. What was hidden from them can be clearly seen.
2 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
V. TO PROCLAIM THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD
We are to make known that today is the day of salvation. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NKJV
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
‘In an acceptable time together I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’
Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
We never know when those around us will breath their last breath. They may never have another tomorrow or another chance to hear the gospel. It is up to us to let them know that today, this day, is the day of salvation.
VI. TO PROCLAIM THE DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD
Vengeance is punishment in return for a wrong. God is a God of mercy and grace, however one day He will be a God of judgment also. As Christians we must proclaim the whole gospel, and that includes the fact that one day God will judge man for his sins.
Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judges, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
After the judgment of sin the sentence (penalty) for those found guilty will be eternal damnation. The guilty will spend eternity in the lake of fire, a place of great torment and pain.
VII. TO COMFORT THOSE WHO MOURN
Everywhere we go we are to give comfort to those who need it. The church has been called to ease the grief and sorrow of those around us. We are to help and give support. In their times of trouble or sorrow we are to help ease their burden or hardship.
A. We are to give those who mourn beauty for ashes. Every situation can be used to bring glory to God. God can take a “bad” situation and make something beautiful and good out of it. We are to help those around us see the “good” in whatever they are going through.
B. We are to give those who mourn the oil of joy for mourning. Joy does not come from what is going on around us. True joy only comes from God. We can have joy even in the midst of everything around us falling apart.
C. We are to give those who mourn the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. When man begins to praise God something wonderful happens. No matter how down or discouraged a person is, when they praise God they begin to feel the heaviness leave their life. The situation that caused them to be down may still be there, but they have a renewed assurance from God that He will be with them through it.
We need the Holy Spirit to help us finish His work. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can do what Jesus has called us to do. We need His power, His strength, His knowledge, His wisdom, His counsel, and His direction.
Our attitude should be the same as Jesus’.
John 4:34 NKJV
“Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
Help me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to do what You have called me to do. Help me to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison to those who were bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all who mourn. Let me continue the ministry of Jesus. Thank You that You have chosen me to work through. When people encounter me, let them encounter Jesus Christ. Cause my life to be a reflection of You, O Lord.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.