TO CHEW ON: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And opening of the prison to those who are bound." Isaiah 61:1
In my Bible, this chapter is titled "The Good News of Salvation" If good news means gospel, we might subtitle it, "The Gospel according to Isaiah."
That Jesus is the "Me" speaking in verse 2 is easy to establish. For He turned to this very passage at the beginning of His ministry in Nazareth, read from it and then said, "Today is this Scripture fulfilled in Your hearing" (Luke 4:16-21).
I tend to equate the Gospel of Salvation as the good news that I can be saved from judgement and reconciled with God through faith in Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Of course it is that. But this chapter reveals that salvation is so much more. See the many facets of salvation that make up this good news? It includes:
- Healing - Isaiah 61:1
- Liberty - Isaiah 61:1
- Comfort and consolation - Isaiah 61:2,3a
- New life - Isaiah 61:3b
- Renewal and rebuilding - Isaiah 61:4
- Exaltation before enemies - Isaiah 61:5,6.
- New career of service - Psalm 61:6
- Honor - Isaiah 61:7,10.
- Justice - Isaiah 61:8 (and an aspect of this is the 'vengeance' mentioned in Isaiah 61:2).
- Joy and celebration—especially celebration of God Himself - Isaiah 61:3,10.
- Fruitfulness - Isaiah 61:3,11.
I ask myself, what aspect of salvation do I need and trust God for today? What about you?
- Are we grieving? We can trust Him for comfort.
- Have we been treated unfairly? He will make it right.
- Are there broken things (relationships, dreams, even physical wreckages) in our lives? He can rebuild those destroyed things.
There is a sense in which Jesus is all these things to us today by faith. There is also a sense in which we need to trust Him for the full revelation of this multi-faceted salvation in the future.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, the many-sided salvation You bought with Your life, death and resurrection stretches my hope and challenges my faith. Help me to live in this salvation by faith now, even when my life is far from ideal, as I cling to the hope that someday I will experience it in its entirety. Amen.
MORE: The Gospel—perfect for your needs
"...the Bible is so thick—because there are so many different needs that you have. And there are suitable places where the gospel is unfolded for you, so that if you immerse yourself in the whole book, always with an eye for what Christ has wrought for you and purchased for you in this thick, glorious history of God’s interaction with people, he will give you what you need.
Therefore, everything in me says, and I hope to say until the day I die, “Now, to him who is able to strengthen me, according to Paul’s gospel, to him—to that God—be glory forever and ever.”
God came into history in Jesus Christ; he died in order to destroy the power of hell and death and Satan and sin; and he did it through the gospel of Jesus Christ" - By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org, excerpt from "The Gospel in Six Minutes."