Isaiah 61 Part one: The Kingdom Manifesto

This passage is one that influenced the Lord Jesus Christ, he alone has fulfilled this perfectly but we are called to seek his kingdom and his righteousness therefore this passage has much to teach us.

         The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3      and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,the oil of joy
instead of mourning  and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.

These verses speak to us clearly of the ministry of Jesus and as we are called to partner in his ministry we need to look at the truth of these verse carefully.

some people want us to interpret the verses concerning the poor in a spiritual sense but this cannot do justice to the context, the context is that of the year of Jubilee, which rectified the problems of ancient Israel’s debt problems. What is more Jesus ministered amongst the poor and needy of his time. It is true that Jesus that Jesus cares about the spiritually impoverished and we must not lose sight of that. Too often we can stress one strand of truth at the expense of the other, this has happened with this particular passage many evangelicals want to reduce it to only its spiritual implications, Liberation Theologians tend only to see the concern with the poor and needy.  the truth is that in whatever way we are poor Jesus has come to give us the good news of his love and grace.

Jesus came to release people from the captivity of sin and to bring them freedom and joy, this passage speaks frequently of his care of those who are hurt in any way. He comes to bind up the broken-hearted, to comfort those who mourn, we too need to have a ministry of compassion.

The ministry of Jesus is one that brings salvation and wholeness to lost and broken people, those who have fallen into the deepest pits are lifted out by his grace. shame is removed and replaced by fullness of life and joy in the Lord. The Lord does not turn away any who seek his face and he tenderly deals with those who mourn and are depressed but he never leaves them there. He turns frail people into oaks of the Lord’s planting. If want to know freedom from despair and real joy there is only place to find it and that is in our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to seeing us enjoying all the privileges of our salvation and because he has given us the Holy spirit to indwell us we can know the joy of the Lord in the midst of all our problems.

We need to model our ministry on that of Jesus, he shows mercy and compassion to those caught up in sin,his concern is to save them. This should be our concern too we need to show love rather than being thought of as those negative narrow-minded people who are always denouncing others. Denouncing others causes them to harden their hearts whereas love softens the heart to receive the truth. Yes we need to stand up for the truth of God’s Word but we need to speak the truth in love.

About pneumaandlogos

David Rollings was born in Luton in1949 and raised by my Christian parents in the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist denomination( Hyper-Calvinistic} in the sixties I rebelled against this background and got involved in left-wing politics. I became a Christian in 1969 and soon started reading Francis Schaeffer's books and came to embrace a Christian Worldview. I had the privilege of being on the staff of L'Abti Fellowship from1975 - 1979. After L'abri I studied at London School of Theology where I gained my BA.(1983) A few years later I studied for my MA by distance learning with The Nazarene Theological College Manchester (1999) For the last 25 years, I have been an elder of Shoreham-by-Sea Baptist Church. I also regularly attend the Christian Doctrine Study Group of the Tyndale Fellowship.
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