Isaiah 61:1-3—The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Jesus began reading this passage in the synagogue of His hometown. He said it was being fulfilled as He read it. The passage was about Him. At first, they marveled. It wasn’t that they were upset at His claim of being anointed, for they had watched Him grow up and knew He was different and wanted the Messiah to be from their town. They became angry when He said they would not receive Him but that 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 materially and physically were blessed because they kept all the rules. That implied that the handicapped and poor and sick were unacceptable to God. Jesus’ teaching was just the opposite. He declared that they were the ones that God was near. Do we have Jesus’ perspective? God loves 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, liberating touch can be upon your life.