December 14: The Gospel Is? – Liberty to the Captives
So He came to Nazareth, [ that Nazareth] where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read. And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound].
Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. And He began to speak to them:Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing. And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the words of grace that came forth from His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph’s Son? (Luke 4:16-22 AMP)
In this short piece of scripture Jesus provides his listeners, and us with what can effectively be called his ‘raison d’etre’, his “Mission Statement;” his purpose in being. He is reading from the prophecy written of the Prophet Isaiah regarding the Messiah; the promise of the one who would come to deliver Israel from bondage; to ‘Liberate’ the “children of God” (Isa 61:1-2).
Encapsulated within these two passages is the essence of the Gospel, the “Good News” that we, as Christians; “little Christs”; are to proclaim to the whole world. The Gospel is not the establishment of a whole new set of laws and edicts by which people are to order their life; Jesus did not come to fulfil and accomplish the benefits of redemption and reconciliation with God, only to establish another set of commands whereby we are to struggle and fail to accomplish as we try to earn the new relationship with God.
Isaiah (Isa 10:27) also prophesied that the anointing that Jesus would have, would in fact break the yoke that was upon our backs when we were distanced from God. In point of fact, the burdensome relationship that many Christians experience is due to a set of religiously imposed rules and commands established by men to maintain a form of control and order over the people that they are supposed to nurture and help to maturity, In Christ. It is politics; that unfortunate malady that human beings so easily fall victim to once you get 3 or more of them in a group.
Jesus proclaimed that this was his mission; that the anointing was “Upon” him. He was the fulfilment of that prophecy. Yet, we still see sickness, poverty, as well as all the effects of a people dead to God around us.
The Great Commission, as it is referred to is for the church to be Christ to the world. For every one of us to pick up that Apostolic mission and with it, that same anointing.
You see, God has never given, any of those he has called, a task to do without also providing the wherewithal to be able to complete that task. The only key to fulfilling the mission has been to rely on, trust in and settle down in the Faith: “That he who has called, is faithful to deliver.”
Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as his replacement; he is to take his place with us and in us because Jesus would not be here bodily. But, to be legally allowed to do anything in this world it is essential to have a body; spirits can’t just do whatever they like. In the passage where he is informing his disciples that he is going away, but he would not leave them ‘Comfortless’, he describes the attributes of the Holy Spirit; that he would be both WITH and IN you.
When we accept the Holy Spirit in His baptism (separate to Water Baptism) we are Immersed (Baptismo) into Him and we invite Him to FILL US to OVERFLOWING. We are anointed with the Holy Spirit and with Power. Acts 10:38 tells us exactly what Jesus did with that same anointing.
Paul continually refers to the church as “The Body of Christ” Jesus hasn’t lost that anointing. So, even if you are the tiniest cell on the bottom of the little toe on the foot of Christ’s body YOU have that anointing residing in You. You have GOD Living in you.
The children of Israel have a word for this very moment: “Selah;” Pause and calmly think on that for a while. I don’t know about you, but I find that even meditating on that for a couple of seconds blows my mind and gets me VERY excited.
You might very well say: “Well I don’t feel very anointed!” “I’ve prayed for people and they haven’t been healed.” Ask yourself this: If you went to a lighting store and bought a lamp and a globe to go into that lamp. Put it on a table in your house and switched it on, What would happen? Just stick with the question. Don’t go beyond the question for a moment.
Seriously! What would happen? Nothing! The Sun would go down and you’d be in darkness.
It’s like the fellow from the Back of Burke who came into the city for the first time and visited a friend in his home. It was a very hot day and the friend went over to the wall and turned a dial on a small box on the wall.
A few minutes later the whole room was cooled right down and the first fellow thought “I’ve got to get one of those for my shack. He asked his friend what it was called and he told him that it was “A Thermostat.”
Heading back home he stopped at a hardware store and asked the assistant for a thermostat. He described it to the assistant and was brought exactly what he had asked for. He paid for it and headed home, proud as Punch.
When he eventually got home he screwed the thermostat to the wall of his shack and was mighty proud of himself. A few days later it was 46 degrees in the shade. So, he went over to the wall and turned the dial on the thermostat and, you’ve guessed it, NOTHING happened.
Like the Lamp on your table and this fellows thermostat, unless they are plugged in to the power source and have the infrastructure built in to your home they can’t work.
You might well say: “I’ve been a Christian for years.” Without meaning to be rude, you’re a lamp; with a globe. Even if you have been plugged in to the socket; unless you throw the switch and are connected to the grid; you’ll still be a lamp, with a bulb.
The wiring that is needed is, as Paul says: “The renewing of your mind.” Like that lamp on your table. you may well know there’s supposed to be light coming from it when you switch it on. Your house may well be connected to the grid and your bill paid up. But, until you actually make the connection all you have is the POTENTIAL for light in your home.
There are hundreds of thousands of Christians out in the world who have the potential to be the Light to the world; to do the works that Jesus promised they would do and the greater works. But, unless they make the connection and apply Faith to that connection they will remain ‘potential’ Lights to the world.
Re read these passages from Isaiah and from Luke and meditate on them. think the way Jesus himself thought about what they had to say to him about his ministry and dare to step out into the fullness of the anointing that you have the ‘potential’ to access.
We are charged to bring the Gospel, the good news, that brings Liberty and Peace to the Captives. The revival that I believe is coming will require people to stand up and live to their potential.
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Praise the Lord!