Posted by: DCox | June 19, 2008

Isaiah 61:1-9

Isaiah 61: 1-9 is a passage of Scripture that that encapsulates the full gospel. It speaks into my life about hope and personal and corporate transformation.  This has strongly influenced my direction and passion in ministry.  

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners;Tempera painting from the 1170s of a portion of Isaiah

2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,

3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.  So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations, and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

5 And strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.

6 But you will be called the priests of the Lord; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God.  You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs.

8 For I, the Lord, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; and I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendents in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed.

 

Jesus quotes the first part of this passage in Luke 4:18-19 indicating he came to fulfill this Scripture.  Jesus tells us he came to proclaim liberty and freedom and bring the good news.

 

What is the good news?  Isn’t it more than that just a call to repentance that results in a “pass” to heaven?  As we read the gospels we see Jesus bringing healing to those with physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dis-ease and brokenness. Jesus cares about all parts of life and heals and restores all parts of life – that’s the Good News!  Because of the Fall, all of humanity can be categorized as the brokenhearted, the afflicted, the captives, the mourning.  We all need to experience the full gospel; to experience the abundant life now (John 10:10).

 

What does this process of healing, transformation, and restoration look like?

  • Those that mourn are given a garland, the oil of gladness, a mantle of praise – mourning opens our hearts to God to be receptive to Him, to who He is, and to what He desires to do
  • They are called oaks of righteousness – this is how God sees those who mourn – transformation occurs as those who mourn experience the love of God
  • Then Isaiah speaks of rebuilding, raising up, and repairing the devastation – they are blessed both spiritually and socially/economically.  Shame and humiliation are replaced.
  • God makes a covenant with them so that future generations will be known among the nations; their descendents will be blessed.

 

John the Baptist calls Jesus the God-Revealer (The Message; John 1:31). Jesus reveals the Father to us in the gospels as he interacts with all cross-sections of society  Some are healed and restored.  Jesus brings whole life and reveals the heart of the Father – for Jesus does nothing of his own initiative.  

 

 

 

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