The Lord’s Favor

Chic Broersma

READ : Isaiah 61:1-3

The Lord has anointed me . . . to bind up the brokenhearted. (v. 1 NIV)

Do these words sound familiar? In the synagogue at Nazareth Jesus read this passage and announced, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21 NIV). Isaiah’s prophetic words speak of the Holy Trinity: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me” (v. 1). There is the Spirit, and God the Father; me refers to Jesus himself. Remember Luke’s description of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove at his baptism? That is his anointing.

Jesus goes about preaching the gospel to the poor (those who hope in God). He applies a healing balm to the brokenhearted and frees the captives who were enslaved by sin and imprisoned by legalistic religion.

Listen with ears of faith and you will still hear the testimonies of the widow of Nain (Luke 7), the woman with the blood disease, the daughter of Jairus, the crippled woman (Luke 13), and the lepers in Samaria (Luke 17).

When Jesus quoted this Isaiah passage he omitted the phrase “the day of vengeance” because that was not his purpose in coming. Vengeance will come later, when he returns as Judge. Those who repent and accept Jesus as Savior receive a crown of beauty instead of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair (Isa. 61:3). Wouldn’t everyone choose a crown of beauty over ashes or gladness over mourning or praise over hopelessness? I pray so.

PRAYER

Lord, empower me to choose wisely, to turn from sin, and hold fast to you.