Summary: Look at who Jesus was anointed to minister to in Luke 4:18. Are you on that list?
Luke 4 shows us some things the Holy Spirit does in Jesus’ ministry.
In fact, Luke talks about the Holy Spirit twelve times in the first four chapters of the gospel, and then suddenly he stops talking about the Holy Spirit. He is only mentioned four more times in the entire rest of the gospel. Then in the book of Acts the Holy Spirit is the main character of the book, 53 times.
Luke and Acts are a two volume work. But notice these parallels: When Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. In Acts 2:38 Peter tells us that we need to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins and we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus in Luke is filled with and lead by the Holy Spirit and the Church in Acts is filled with and lead by the Holy Spirit. In fact, there are so many similarities about Jesus ministry and the churches ministry that it becomes clear that the Church is the body of Christ and continues Jesus’ ministry in the world after he ascended. Here in Luke 4:14-21 Jesus claims to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 61’s prophecy. I don’t think we can begin to understand what a bomb shell that was to make that claim. Jesus is saying what we know to be true and have become so familiar with, we miss the shock of his message. Their response to his claim was first amazement, and then disbelief, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
He’s saying that he is the fulfillment of the Hope of Israel! And to whom is Jesus called to minister? It is the poor, the broken hearted, the captive, the blind and the oppressed. What does he proclaim? The gospel, to heal the broken hearted, freedom to the captive, to open the eyes of the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable (favorable, welcome) year of the Lord!
Now, a couple of things are immediately important for us to catch here. It is true that we are familiar with the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ who has come to do these things in fulfillment of prophecy, but we must not miss who Jesus is sent to. Let me go over that list one more time.
The poor, the broken hearted, the captive, the blind, and the oppressed, right? Did I leave anyone out? Now think about this with me. Look around this room. Does anyone else here see what I see? Where are the poor? Where are the broken hearted? Where are the captive, the blind, the oppressed? Would that describe the make up of this group here today?
Now think about this with me. Who is Jesus anointed by the Holy Spirit to minister to? Do I need to go over that list again? Who here in this assembly today qualifies? How many of us here make this list? Just to push this envelope a bit further, lets turn in our Bibles to 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. Read that with me.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are,
29 that no man should boast before God.
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
Let’s go back to Luke chapter 4 now and think about that list in Isaiah again: poor, broken hearted, captive, blind, and oppressed.
Now think about us here today. How many of us would like to be somebody in this world? How much of our time and energy is spent trying to achieve status and worldly comforts? How much do we value security, success, status and stuff? How much of this world has captivated our hearts and minds? We work hard to live like we do and if we’re honest about it, we try hard to avoid being on that list, don’t we? I mean, who wants to be poor, broken hearted, captive, blind, oppressed? Do you? I don’t! But let me tell you something and I want to say this sincerely, if I have to be on that list to be somebody Jesus came to save, then may God make it so!