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Jesus States His Mission

In Luke chapter four Jesus stands up to read in the synagogue and reads from the scroll of Isaiah:

Luk 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luk 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20  And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21  And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.

This is early in Jesus’ ministry. He reads the words of the prophet Isaiah. Just like in the previous post where Jesus quoted the word of God in rejecting temptation Jesus quotes the word of God to define his mission statement. His mission is:

  • to preach good tidings to the poor:
  • to proclaim release to the captives,
  • and recovering of sight to the blind,
  • to set at liberty them that are bruised,
  • to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord

The verses are from Isaiah 61.  They are in reference to the year of Jubilee.   (The acceptable year of the Lord is also translated the year of Jehovah’s favor  or the Jubilee year). The year of Jubilee was a special year every 50 years where debts were forgiven and land was restored to its original owner, the one to whom it had been given as an inheritance.  Every 50 years the slate was wiped clean.

Jesus’s declaration equated his arrival with the year of Jubilee.  Jesus’s Jubilee was a special Jubilee.  This Jubilee was once and for all.  Instead of something smaller that happened every 50 years the redemption that Jesus brought was forever.  The 50 year Jubilee cycle had been a foreshadowing of what was to come.  Jesus was the fulfillment of the principle of Jubilee. Jesus’ good tidings were the gospel.  The release of the captives was more than just for people imprisoned for offenses in the local prisons.    Jesus came to set people free who were held captive by the snare of the devil, so that they would no longer be in bondage to the things of this world but be set free and made citizens of the kingdom of God.  The Jubilee that Jesus brought wasn’t a single year,  it was eternity.  It was eternal life with him.

It would be too simplistic to say that this was the only thing that Jesus set out to do.  He made other statements of mission.  For example:

And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners?
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick.
I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. [Luke 5:30-32]

In Luke chapter 5 the Pharisees challenged Jesus on why the disciples didn’t fast, instead they ate and drank with sinners.  Here Jesus makes another mission statement.  Jesus declared he had a mission to call sinners to repentance.

So we learn that Jesus did make mission statements.  His mission was the mission of the word of God. He set the example of carrying out God’s Word.  Of course, as our leader, his mission becomes our mission. As believers we are joint heirs to carry out his mission: to preach good tidings to the poor: to proclaim release to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

What an awesome thing!

© copyright 2010 Mark W Smith, All rights reserved.

August 14th, 2010 Posted by | Jesus' Teaching and Miracles | 2 comments

2 Comments »

  1. […] the previous post, Jesus States His Mission, we read in Luke chapter 4 where Jesus read from a scroll of Isaiah and declared that the words he […]

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