“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-20).
Several of the characters from Psalm 146 make a re-appearance here. Their condition is similar. The persecution and injustice remain the same because sin and moral failure are still pervasive. But the good news is that God makes the same life-changing promises. Understand that the causes and the symptoms don’t change, and fortunately neither do God’s promises.
What’s different here is Who’s doing the reading. It’s Jesus. For Isaiah, this is a prophecy. But for Jesus, this was personal. Right after he finished reading, He sat down; Luke goes on to say: Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you just heard today has been fulfilled this very day!” Imagine, having the opportunity to literally see prophecy fulfilled. Therefore, it is Jesus Himself doing these good works.
Another way we can see the Spirit of the Lord upon Jesus is resting upon Jesus. John the Baptist testifies to this: I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him (John 1:32). And within the same passage, John pronounced Jesus as: Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29).
Back to Luke, Jesus said, He has anointed me. The word anoint is closely related to the name Christ, which is the Greek version of Messiah.
The Spirit of God is resting upon Him. He has been anointed Messiah and has testified that He is the fulfillment of the Scripture. But not only does He fulfill this Scripture in Who He is, but what He does.
In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor” (Matthew 11:4-5).
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
I have chosen to focus on the spiritual realities of what Christ has done for us. The suffering and persecution and injustice and imprisonment are all very real, but behind all of these things is sin, and the only one who can free us from sin…is Jesus.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Time is short. Let those around you know what Jesus has done for them.
Read Part 1 of the series, Freedom: Psalm 146