Isaiah the prophet had a unique ministry. He warned Israel that their idolatry, iniquity, and rebellion would cause them to be destroyed. Then he prophesied that Israel would be restored, returned to their land, and be comforted. Isaiah 61 tells how God plans to comfort Israel.
We will study what the Messiah will do, what the people will do, and the everlasting covenant.
Today we will study ‘What the Messiah will do” from verses 1-3. Luke 4:16-22 needs to be read first to understand who the “me” in verse one is. The “me” is referring to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel.
What Messiah will do (1-3)
a) The empowerment of the Messiahs ministry (1a)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;
Because the Lord hath anointed me
b) The ministry of the Messiah (1b-3)
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; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 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.
Verse one makes clear that the Spirit of God was on the Messiah and that God the Father anointed Him. This gave Him the authority to minister for God.
What was the Messiah’s ministry? A list is given of what the Messiah will do. It is a list of action words that provide comfort and encouragement to a nation who had turned their backs on God.
Verse 3 is our Scripture song verse of the week. God contrasts their current situation and their future status. When Israel repents and turns back to God, God will make all things right.
Believers in Jesus Christ are not exempt from falling away from God. They may choose to willfully sin, follow the world, and trample on God’s promises for them.
What should they do? Repent and be reconciled to God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then they will be walking in obedience to Jesus and His word.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001