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Summary: 1. Jesus is our Preacher. 2. Jesus is our Healer. 3. Jesus is our Comforter. 4. Jesus is our Giver.

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It’s All about Jesus!

Isaiah 61:1-3

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 29, 2010

*What is the heart of our vision as a church? -- I like the way Ed Turnage says it when he goes out visiting Saturday mornings: “It’s all about Jesus.”

*The heart of our vision is all about Jesus, and Isaiah 61 helps us see why. This Old Testament prophecy was written 700 years before Christ was born, but it certainly applies to Jesus.

*In Luke 4, Jesus went back to His hometown of Nazareth. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and was asked to read God’s Word. At that time Jesus turned to these very verses in Isaiah and read:

1. "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 the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,

3. To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

*Then the Lord sat down to show His authority. In Jewish tradition the one who sat was in charge. That's where we get our word “chairperson.” (1)

-Jesus sat down after reading these verses, and said: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)

*The townspeople understood that Jesus was claiming to be the prophesied Messiah, the coming King. They would not accept this home boy as their Messiah. And in fact, they got so enraged that they tried to throw the Lord off of a cliff. But of course they could not because Jesus is the Messiah, Savior, King, Almighty God, Lord of all.

1. And this prophecy from Isaiah shows us that Jesus is our Preacher.

*There are a lot of wonderful preachers in this world, but none of them can hold a candle to Jesus!

*In vs. 1, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings . . .” That phrase “preach good tidings” is one word in the original language. It means “to bring good news,” and the word picture is something fresh and full, just overflowing with goodness.

*Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor.”

-Now the Lord surely loves poor people, but He isn’t talking about financial poverty here.

-He’s talking about someone who realizes his own spiritual poverty.

-It’s the same thing Jesus had in mind in Matt 5:3, when He said: “Blessed (or happy) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

-Jesus is talking about people who have realized that they have no righteousness on their own, but they are happy, because they have trusted in the Lord.

*In vs. 1, the Lord also said: “He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”

-Then in vs. 2 the Lord said: “He has sent me to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God. . .”

*Notice that word “proclaim” in those two verses. It means “to cry out with a loud sound.” That word reminds us that we’ve got news so big and so important that it deserves to be shouted from the rooftop!

*We must not skip over the sobering news in vs. 2: “The day of God’s vengeance.” God is surely going to take vengeance on His enemies.

-That includes everyone who refuses to receive Jesus as Lord.

-But if we have put our trust in Jesus, we can be sure that He will destroy our greatest enemies: Satan, sin and death.

*This takes us back to the good news in vs. 1, where Jesus said, “He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”

*Here God is not primarily talking about prisons made with concrete and steel, though many Christians around the world are locked up in prisons like that right now. They are suffering in places like China and Iran. But here God is mainly talking about the prisoners who are trapped by their own sin. They are trapped under a sentence of eternal death.

*But Jesus said: “He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” And the wonderful truth is that through Christ you can still be free even in the worst prison.

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