“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
Because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives,
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me:
As it had to be for Jesus, so it has to be for us.
That the Spirit of God must be ‘upon’ us before anything is said or done.
The Spirit being ‘upon’ us speaks of God’s own desire to be present with us.
The Spirit being ‘upon me’ or ‘upon us’ is our recognition that God is near and not far.
Because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor:
The Holy Spirit of God is ‘upon me’ for a reason.
There is a job to do. That job is primarily an announcement.
“And here is the evening news…death, destruction, lies, greed and war…”
This is what happens when the Spirit of God isn’t ‘upon’.
‘To proclaim Good News…’ is to announce the end of death, destruction, lies, greed and war.
To proclaim anything of God is always proceeds the anointing of the Spirit.
‘To the poor….’ isn’t merely an economic phrase. It’s a human quality-of-life-phrase.
The poor are those who do not have the Spirit of God ‘upon’ them;
Because they are being robbed by the evening news.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives:
Just as a child can be wise and a professor of quantum physics can be stupid;
So a captive person can be free and a free person can be captive.
To what or to whom or by what or by whom are you captive this morning?
What and where is you prison? Why and how is your prison?
God is on the move.
The Spirit of God is ‘upon’ many to proclaim freedom for us today.
Don’t be fooled by the lie: “I’m a Christian; therefore I’m ok!”
Are you a perfected Christian? Are you like Christ yet? Are you the finished article? Of course not.
Therefore, where you are not, there Christ is waiting to proclaim good news to your imprisoned poverty.
“It was for freedom that Christ has set us free….” (Galatians 5:1).
And recovering of sight to the blind:
I have a blind friend who sees better than anyone I know!
He has 40-40 vision. I have fading and blurry vision.
When he speaks, I ‘see’ better.
Beloved, where are you blind?
Where in your spiritual vision does Jesus need to spit onto mud and rub sense into your eyes?
‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom…’
And where the Spirit of the Lord is there is true sight: Clarity, focus, sharpness, acuteness, penetrating.
To set at liberty those who are oppressed:
For if you or I or we are poor, captive and blind, we are most certainly oppressed.
Oppressed by untruth, skewed truth and post-truth.
Oppressed by bad news, hard news and no news.
Oppression is where the Spirit of God isn’t.
What areas of your/our life will be liberated from oppression in 2017?
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour:
I favour Liverpool over Man Utd.
I favour sprouts over figgy pudding.
For the third time, we hear of something ‘proclaimed’.
It comes first by anointing.
It comes with a message.
And it comes with a purpose:
To proclaim: Good News.
To proclaim: Liberty.
To proclaim: Favour.
The Lord’s Good News; The Lord’s Liberty; The Lord’s Favour.
The Greek word for ‘favour’ here is dekton.
On one level it can mean something ordinary like: a warm welcome of someone.
But here, it comes from the root Gk word dechomai:
[The personal element is emphasized with (déxomai) which accounts for it always being in the Greek middle voice. (déxomai) occurs 59 times in the NT.]
But you knew that!
And the Greek middle voice makes us aware that this kind of favour or ‘dekton’ is qualitatively different:
This stresses the high level of self-involvement (interest) involved with the “welcoming-receiving.”
“Mary will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus (from Heb. Joshua = God is my salvation), for he will save his people from their sins. This was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah 800 years before: “Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, (which means: God with us).”
Jesus is ‘God with us’ and ‘God is our salvation.’
God is showing a high-level of involvement and interest now.
As a friend of mine says: God gets stuck in, to prevent a human race from being stuck up in alienation from God (in poverty, captivity, blindness and oppression) and stuck out of the Kingdom of God.
Have a splendid day.