“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, an opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.”
– Isaiah 61:1–3
When you get to the New Testament and you see Luke’s introduction to Jesus, we see his birth in Chapter Two, but then in Chapter Four Jesus walks into the temple, he pulls out the Old Testament scroll of Isaiah, he reads these words about the Spirit of God being upon me, the Lord anointing me to bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, and Jesus reads this passage, he sits down, and he says, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
In other words, I am Him. “The Spirit of God’s on me,” Jesus says, “The Lord has anointed me and I’ve come to bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” The whole picture is, and this what we see this all over Isaiah, all over the Old Testament, but these promises of grace that we see all throughout Isaiah and the Old Testament are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.
Isaiah 61:1–3 Reminds Us of the Promise of Jesus
Jesus is the long-promised, Spirit-anointed deliverer of God’s people.
We look to Jesus for all of these things in our lives. We are the ones who need salvation. God, we need the Lord’s favor. We need comfort in our mourning. We want the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. Jesus is the only one who can bring all these things to us. In a fresh way today I just want to encourage you, look to Jesus.
Look to Jesus as the one your heart most needs. He is the fulfillment of all that you need. All that God has promised you is found in Jesus, so look to him today and then let’s proclaim him today. There are people around us with all kinds of needs, and Jesus is the one who can meet their needs; Jesus can. He’s the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. Anyone who wants to experience the goodness of God must come through Jesus. All of scripture is fulfilled in him, so let’s proclaim Jesus today.
I just want to encourage you, challenge you in a sense, to talk with somebody about Jesus today, somebody. Mention the name of Jesus. Say to someone, tell them who Jesus is, what Jesus has done. Would you just pray?
This Verse Praises the Beauty and Mercy of Jesus
Let’s pray Isaiah 61:1–3 right now: God, I pray for an opportunity- I pray for opportunities for everyone that’s listening to this- We pray for an opportunity to tell somebody about Jesus today, to speak about Jesus to somebody today, to point somebody to Jesus. Not even just to talk about you, oh God, in a general, almost generic sense, to use God in a sentence somewhere, but God, help us, we pray today, to point somebody to the beauty of Jesus, to the one who alone can meet the deepest needs of our hearts.
Jesus, you are that. We look to you in this way; you are the one who is able to meet the deepest needs of our hearts. All the needs of our hearts are met in you. We love you, Jesus. We praise you. Jesus, we praise you for your grace in our lives, we praise you for coming to bring all of these things to us. We praise you for coming to bring all of these things to us, so help us then, as recipients of your mercy, as ones who know you, help us to proclaim your name today. We pray this in your name, in the precious, beautiful, powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.