“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; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 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.” (61:1-3)
As I mentioned the other day, chapters 56-66 are a chiasm, a mirroring literary style, which I will point out now, since we’ve arrived at the center. I want you to feel how much of a punch is packed!
E: Obedient foreigners included 56:1-8
D: The need for salvation 56:9-59:15a
C: A divine savior 59:15b-21
B: Zion, light of the world 60
A: The Messiah 61
B: Zion, light of the world 62
C: A divine savior 63:1-6
D: The need for salvation 63:7-66:17
E: Obedient foreigners included 66:18-24
When Jesus arrives at Nazareth and reads Isaiah 61:1-2 in the Synagogue, He says something incredible: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
It, then, comes at no surprise the Nazarenes respond with a, “What? You?! It can’t be you! We grew up with you.” This was what everyone had been waiting for. How could this most cherished prophecy be fulfilled in their neighbor??
Let’s not miss the significance of His assertion, nor what He proclaimed: Good news for the afflicted, liberty for the captives, favor, comfort and glory for the grieved. Jesus not only brought spiritual salvation, He also physically healed and liberated people regularly. He lifted up those who were low; touching people with His divine power.
We are recipients of this wondrous news, as well as couriers of it. The gospel is truly good, especially for the afflicted. Let these chapters wash over you. Take hold of what it means for your own heart. It will help you communicate its power to the hearts of others.