In the Gospel of Luke chapter 4, we find recorded, the return of Jesus to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. First, it is important to note that the scriptures teach us that it was the custom of Jesus to attend Synagog on the Sabbath. As a Christian, it should also be your custom to attend church (Hebrews 10:25) on the appointed day, which is Sunday (1 Corinthians 16:2). Your friends, neighbors, and family, should know exactly where you will be each and every Sunday.
When Jesus arrived at the service, he stood up to read out of the Book of Isaiah, and once finished he sat down, and told them all that “today this prophecy is fulfilled in your ears.” The people in attendance knew full well that this passage was about the Messiah, and by saying this Jesus did in fact claim to be the Messiah.
Jesus delivered them some Good News and some Bad News. What makes the news good or bad, depends on the response to that news. You will notice that the attendee’s at the synagog did not respond well to the news.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, - Luke 4:16-30
Let’s take a look at the Good News that Jesus delivered. The good news is concerning what Jesus was Anointed by the Spirit to do:
- Preach the gospel to the poor
- Heal the broken-hearted
- Preach deliverance to the captives
- Recover the sight of the blind
- Set at liberty the bruised
- Preach the acceptable year of the Lord
The Bad news is in reference to what you do with the Good news, and what Jesus omitted from his quoting of this passage in Isaiah.
Preach the Gospel to the Poor
The first thing that Jesus said that he was anointed by the Spirit of God to do was to preach the gospel to the poor. This causes me to ask the question, Who are these poor?
Two possible interpretations
There are two possible interpretations as to who the poor could be:
Now we know that the Scripture is not to be privately interpreted; therefore we are going to allow the Scriptures to interpret the Scriptures as we are commanded to do.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. - 2 Peter 1:20-21Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Corinthians 2:12-14
Jesus was reading the text found in Isaiah 61:1-2:
he Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Notice that in Isaiah the wording is a little different; instead of saying the He came to preach to the poor, it says that the preaching was to the meek. To be meek means to be humble; submissive to the Divine will of God. We also know that according to Titus 2:11 that the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation is offered to everyone, not just the poor among us.
Literal versus Spiritual interpretation
If we are to take the literal interpretation, then that would mean the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, was primarily to meet the social needs of the day. To eradicate the world of poverty and disease. Although these are noble causes and worthy of our attention, we know from the bulk of Scripture that Jesus was more concerned with our Spiritual condition than our physical condition:
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? - Mark 8:34-37And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. - 1 Timothy 1:12-16
The poor are those who suffer from Spiritual poverty
The poor are, therefore, not just those in which whom have suffered material poverty, but those who recognize their Spiritual condition and therefore, suffer from Spiritual poverty.
The problem with our Society
That is largely what is wrong with our society today, People will not admit to themselves, what their true Spiritual condition is. The Bible says that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12) and that the wages of that sin, what we deserve because of our sinfulness is death (Romans 6:23). Those in society want to ignore these facts and act like they are not real. That is why they have educated themselves out of the knowledge that there is a God and that they owe that God a debt that they could never pay. They treat the subject in the same manner that they treat debt collectors when they see their number on the caller ID. They reject the call and attempt to distract themselves from their real problem. But thanks to the Gospel, we don’t have to pay this sin debt, it has been paid for us.
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is the best good news that has ever been delivered to mankind. We know that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). The Lord is offering us eternal life as a free gift, and there is not anything that we must do as a prerequisite to obtain this free gift (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9). The Gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The Gospel is the good news that God became a man, lived a sinless, perfect life, and sacrificed his life for ours. He is offering eternal life as a free gift, and the only thing that we need to do, is to accept that free gift:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:9-13
Heal the Broken-Hearted
The second thing that Jesus said that he was anointed by the Spirit of God to do is to heal the broken-hearted. The Lord does not want you to be broken hearted today. Once you realize that you are Spiritually poor, it is a natural response to be broken-hearted. The Bible refers to this as having a broken and contrite heart.
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. - Isaiah 66:2For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. - Isaiah 57:15The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. - Psalms 51:17The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. - Psalms 34:18
Once we have confessed our sins (1 John 1:9), the Lord wants us to learn to let them go. He said that he is Faithful and Just to forgive us of our sin and that he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But we have a hard time letting it go ourselves:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14
Don’t continue to beat yourself up or someone else up for something that the Lord has already forgiven. Let it Go! If you keep pulling on a scab, it will never heal. The Lords desire is to heal you today.
Preach Deliverance to the Captives
The third thing that Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God to do is to preach deliverance to the captives. Too many times we allow ourselves to be captivated by Sin. Before you come to saving faith and knowledge in the Lord Jesus Christ, and before you have accepted him as your personal Lord and Saviour, you don’t have a choice but to be captive by Sin. But now you no longer need to allow Sin to reign in your life:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. - Romans 6:6-14
You do not need to be ruled by Sin any longer, God has purchased you out of Sin (1 Corinthians 6:20) with his own blood (Acts 20:28, Hebrews 9:11-12, 26).
Put off the Old Man
We must choose to put off the old man, the old nature that we lived in before salvation, and to put on the new man which is created in righteousness (Ephesians 4:21-24, Colossians 3:1-10). The Bible teaches that once you are Born Again (John 3:3) that you now have two natures. The old one and a new one (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we must choose which one we will live in. The Lord has delivered you from the slave market of sin, don’t put yourself back under that bondage voluntarily. Accept the deliverance that has been offered and put on the new man.
Recover the Sight of the Blind
The next thing that Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God to do is to recover the sight of the blind. We see in the Gospels that Jesus had literally recovered sight to the blind, by performing miracles in their lives. He also wants to recover the sight of those that are Spiritually Blinded:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. - 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
The Devil has Spiritually Blinded people. He has blinded them to their need of a deliverer, by leading them to believe that they are not so bad. We are very good at comparing ourselves to the worst examples, and therefore, make ourselves feel better about our situation. You can not earn favor with God, or Salvation by living a good life (Isaiah 64:6).
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. - Titus 3:5-7
Blinded to the Word of God
Satan has also caused many to be blinded to what the Bible says. If you approach the Bible from the angle that you are looking for errors (which there aren’t any) or to try and justify yourself for your lifestyle, then the Bible will be a closed book to you:
For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers,6 the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: - Isaiah 29:10-13
According to the above passage, the reason that men can not understand the Word of God is that their hearts are not right. If you approach The Word with the wrong heart, it will appear to be sealed to you. However, if you will approach the Lord with the right heart, and understand that he is right and we are wrong, Every Time! Then he will recover you of your blindness:
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. - Isaiah 29:18-19All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. - Proverbs 8:8-11
Set at Liberty the Bruised
Sin will leave you broken and bruised. It will lure you in slowly and convince you that you’re having a great time (Hebrews 11:24-25). Sin can bring pleasure, but only for a season. When the season changes, it will leave you broken and bruised. The Lord wants to set you free from that brokenness and to heal you of all your bruises:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,1 condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. - Romans 8:1-6Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. - Galatians 5:1
Preach the Acceptable Year of the Lord
Today is the day of Salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2, Hebrews 2:3). We do not have a promise of a tomorrow, or even a promise another hour on this earth.
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. - James 4:13-15
Don’t reject the free gift of salvation. If you have never accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, today is the day of salvation for you! There won’t be a better time or a more convenient time. Don’t delay, get it fixed today!
The Bad News
This brings us to the Bad News, The Day of Vengeance. Jesus stopped mid verse when he was reading out of the Book of Isaiah:
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; - Isaiah 61:2
Jesus did not read this section because it was not the time to be fulfilled yet. Remember he ended by stating that this prophecy has been fulfilled in your ears today. The day of vengeance has not been fulfilled yet, but it is coming:
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. - 2 Peter 3:1-10But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, - 1 Thesselonians 5:1-9
Don’t wait to respond to the Good News. Just as God shut the door on Noah’s Ark and all those who scoffed and made fun of Noah for believing God, even though it had never rained before, were stuck outside; because they thought that if it turned out that Noah was right and they were wrong, then they would get on the Ark. But the Bible says that once Noah and his family entered the Ark, that God shut and sealed the door, and it was forever too late for those outside.
The same will be true of this age as well. You can’t wait until judgment comes and then decide that you will believe. Today is the day of Salvation!
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. - 2 Thesselonians 2:8-12
You Must Be Born Again
Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, and the same holds true for us today. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Saviour, today is the day; don’t delay.
If you are a Born Again Christian, then I want you to realize that all of the things that the Lord Jesus Christ was anointed by the Spirit of God to do, has now been passed on to you.
We are to be ambassadors for Christ and have been given the ministry of reconciliation, to help the people that we have contact with to be reconciled to God (1 Corinthians 15:34).
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.