18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
We also saw how Jesus fulfills all of these things as the Jewish Messiah:
He is the One Who can enrich the poor.
He is the One Who can heal the heartbroken.
He is the One Who can set completely free all who come to Him.
But there are two other points to be made about this prophecy from Isaiah 61 which is fulfilled in Jesus in Luke 4.
Firstly, many centuries before Jesus arrived to explain these words to His disciples, Isaiah had given us a glimpse of the nature of the God of Israel:
1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor..." Isaiah 61
Elsewhere in the writings of Isaiah, Moses and Israel's other prophets, we have gotten a peek at the complex unity of YHWH. We get another peek here, too. As we have said in other articles, the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.
In verse 1 above, we see all three Persons of the Triune God. I will paraphrase here for clarity:
The Son is speaking, saying the Spirit of YHWH is on Him. It is the Father Who anoints Him to bring the good news to the poor.
Putting it another way, the third Person of the Trinity is upon the second Person as the first Person has anointed Him to preach the Gospel. The One God of Israel acts in complete unity to achieve the salvation of His creations, rebellious though they are.
And now we come to our second point. This is the part of our story which highlights some of that rebellion we just talked about.
Luke continues his narrative by telling us that, at first, the Jews of Nazareth were thrilled to hear these gracious words emanating from one of their own. But then Jesus reminded them of how prophets like Himself had historically not been recognized in their hometowns. Which words He follows by speaking to them about how Elijah and Elisha had both been used of God to minister to and bless...
This is so repulsive a thought for His former neighbors that it sends them all into a rage, and they immediately try to kill Jesus, but He eludes them and goes on His way.
Even as early as then, Jesus already prophesied that many in Israel would reject their own Messiah. Even that early in His ministry, He had already told them that He was sent not just for the Jewish nation, but for His people among the Gentiles as well.
This had also been prophesied in the very same Gospel of Luke at the dedication of the Child Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem:
28 Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
29 Now, Master,
You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised.
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
31 You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to Your people Israel. Luke 2
And He has been exactly that.
Simeon said he has seen "YHWH's salvation."
The name Yeshua means "YHWH saves."
Our salvation had been prepared "in the presence of all peoples," and 2,000 years later, Jesus continues to be a light for revelation to us Gentiles and a glory to His people Israel. Always was, and always will be. Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus reminded His disciples once again that His mission, and therefore theirs, too, was to reach the whole world with the message of His death and resurrection, saying (italics mine),
46 "... This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day,
47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24
Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, but He is Messiah not just for His Chosen People, but for all who would receive Him.
If you have not given Him His rightful place in your heart yet, I pray you will do so today. Ask Him in, and He will answer your prayer.