Towards the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry he entered his home town synagogue and was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah from which to read. Luke says,
He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
In this proclamation, Jesus was announcing his mission statement. Isaiah had prophesied these amazing promises centuries before and now Jesus is declaring that he is their fulfillment. Jesus himself is the good news that the poor need to hear; he is the captive’s release and the blind’s sight; he is the freedom that the oppressed seek and the means of favor in God’s eyes. All these are accomplished in Jesus. All these are accomplished in Jesus for you. Ultimately, the fulfillment of these prophecies will be concrete and literal, but penultimately, their good work begins in Elle, and in Debby, and in Ray, and in Jack, and in…. (You get the idea.) God is a very individual and personal God. It is God’s intention to personally bring you good news, release, sight, freedom and favor. Wow! Consider what this means in your everyday, walking around life. Savor the possibility.
(My dear friend, Elle, I realize that I’m having a difficult time thinking about what to write to you regarding these promises. I know they are true and sure at all times, because I know Jesus is true and sure at all times, but my experience sometimes suggests that they are true and sure only sometimes. I wish my experience could declare without a doubt their trustworthiness, but it is only my faith that can make such a declaration. And so, it does. “Oh Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”)
Oh, Holy Spirit, bringer of wisdom and discernment, will you speak your truth through my words right now? I so long to impart only what is of you; form my thoughts after yours, inspire images, form sentences that bring to this page what would bring life and liberty to me and to Elle. We need your help. Amen
(In my next post, I’ll finish this letter.)