December 6

Isaiah 61:1-3 1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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, 2to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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.

Jesus opened to this passage in the synagogue of His hometown. He said it was fulfilled in their ears as He read it. He knew the passage was about Him. At first they marveled. It wasn't that they were angry at His claim of being anointed, for they had watched Him grow up and knew He was different. They became angry when He said they would not receive Him but the Gentiles would.

Why was the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD on Him? He was anointed to preach the good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim freedom to captives and prisoners. His message of God's love for the humble was a joy to the poor who thought God had rejected them. The priests of that day gave the impression that those who were blessed physically were blessed because they kept all the rules. That implied that the handicapped and poor and sick were all unacceptable to God. Jesus' teaching was quite different. He declared that the poor were and brokenhearted were the ones near to God.

Do we have Jesus' perspective? He shared God's love and cares for the hurting. He wants to give a garment of praise in place of a spirit of despair. Hear the good news. Jesus was anointed so that His healing and liberating touch can be upon your life.

Meditation: Let His good news transform you into an oak of righteousness, a planting for the display of His splendor.