READ : Luke 4:14-22
The Spirit of the Lord … has sent me … to let the oppressed go free. (v. 18)
Many experts agree that the first hundred words of any book, article, presentation, or speech are the most important. If the writer hasn’t made his point, or the speaker fails to capture our interest with her message, we won’t read – or listen – any further. So just how did Jesus begin his ministry? What was the point he wanted no one to miss?
In Luke 4 we get a clue. During the first address of his public ministry, our Lord makes it clear what will direct that ministry. In it he states his life’s purpose – his personal mission statement – and he tells exactly whom he has come to serve. Quoting from Isaiah, Jesus says that he came to bring freedom to those who are oppressed. And for the remainder of his earthly ministry, he reached out first and most frequently to people with mental and physical brokenness, spiritual sickness, and economic disadvantage.
If we claim to be Christ’s followers, his purpose must inform our own purpose. Whether we stay at home to care for family or go to the office, factory, classroom, or field, we too are called to “release the captives” and “let the oppressed go free.” How will you put that into practice today?
Lord, help me see and free the oppressed in my world.