The Integrity Worship Institute discussion board question for tonight made me think a bit harder than usual. Here’s my thoughts on it.
In what ways did Jesus fulfill Isaiah’s prophetic words? In what ways might these verses apply to your ministry as a leader or musician?
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.
I like to view Isaiah 61:1-3 as Jesus’ ministry manifesto, delivered through the prophet Isaiah. Seven hundred years later Jesus is born, grows up a carpenter’s son and when He is baptized by John and receives the Holy Spirit, Jesus is finally ready to step out in ministry. His initial step is to claim that manifesto as His own in front of everyone at the synagogue [Luke 4:18].
There are some things that I take out of this scripture.
- The Holy Spirit was upon Jesus. He was anointed for the work He was about to do.
- Even though Jesus was going to pay the ultimate cost and die for everyone in the whole world, his manifesto is directed at people facing affliction, dealing with broken hearts, and/or residing in captivity.
- That He would bring joy to those who are hurting, sad, or weary. Praise plays a big part in the release of that joy.
- The main outcome of this manifesto is that God the Father is glorified.
Here are some things I don’t fully understand about this scripture.
- Jesus stopped short of reading “And the day of vengeance of our God” – why?
- I know that the ‘favorable year of the Lord’ is believed to be reference to the year of jubilee when debtors are set free. I love that notion, but is the link simply an educated guess?
How are these verses important to us as a leader or musician?
- I believe Jesus’ manifesto should be our manifesto.
- As followers of Jesus, the same Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus lives in us today.
- We are the body of Christ, therefore we must continue to carry out his work here on earth.
- Praise is powerful and will strengthen us.
- As a church we must seek to reach out and restore those who feel isolated, who feel trapped, who are poor, who are hopeless.
- Our main mission over all is to glorify God the Father.