Comprehending the Mission


Christy on the streets of Manchester, stopping to speak to one of her clients. 



Scripture:

Is. 61:1    The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;

Observation:

This passage from Isaiah is read by our Lord and he uses it to identify himself as the One who is fulfilling this mission. Jesus was able to quote this passage because he had full comprehension of his mission. It also reveals the Triune God, the Spirit who anoints the One who will then send the Spirit. The co-mingling of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because it is the LORD, or Yahweh, who has anointed the Son. Therefore, once the fulness of God is revealed, then the mission begins to unfold. 

The Messiah was to preach good news, touch those who were brokenhearted, provide a pathway for freedom for those who were held in captivity. God’s people were to find a way out of a bondage of their own making. In the end there would be an open door into the place of God’s favor, where God would be the judge, and all those who have been wounded will be comforted. 

Jesus, through his baptism and temptation, had already taken upon himself the role of the Suffering Servant. He fully comprehended his mission and ultimately it would lead to the ideal of justice and righteousness, brought to fulfillment in the cross. 

Application:

Jesus’ full comprehension of his mission should be enlightening to all Christ-followers. As we follow Christ, we should also follow him into mission for he sent the Spirit to anoint us. We journey in life to draw closer to Christ, to become his reflections in this world. In this way we become Christlike disciples in the nations.

As Christlike disciples we should also comprehend our mission. We are to be engaged in sharing the good news to the oppressed. There are many ways in which people can be oppressed and sometimes we simply need to have our eyes opened to that truth. It may be those who are impoverished, or it may be your next door neighbor who suffers in silence at the hands of an abusive spouse. The number of brokenhearted within our own communities is probably quite staggering, and yet we may not know who they are. Silently suffering from a broken heart we have wounded individuals within our reach on a daily basis. 

The Israelites were being held captive by their enemies because they had been unfaithful to God. They were also being held captive to the Law, and to the religious leaders who lorded it over them. They were in bondage to a legalism that made them prisoners to their own faith. We are to join Jesus is proclaiming liberty, a freedom that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Spirit fills us and turns our hearts of stone into a heart of flesh. Now, instead of seeing religion as a form of bondage, it should be a place of freedom, reflected in the love of Christ. 

There is no promise that this life will be devoid of suffering. Our Lord was a suffering servant who gave up his life for all of us. We are to be servant leaders who speak up for those who have no voice, and who seek justice and righteousness. In doing so we will be able to bring the comfort of the Spirit to those who mourn. 

Our oldest daughter, Christy challenges me when I see the way in which she has embraced her mission. She feels called to be a voice for homeless people in the UK. As a follower of Christ she feels compelled to speak up for those who have no voice, seeking justice for them in a system that often sees them more as a bother than an individual with needs. I have seen her heart break over those who suffer and sometimes she wonders whether she's making a difference, but she goes in the anointing of the Spirit. 

Jesus fully comprehended his mission. Do we?

Prayer:

Lord, I pray that I would embrace your mission boldly. Amen. 

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