Summary: Spirit-filled activities that set people free.
Jesus went to the synagogue and read the scroll from Isaiah 61:1,2. He then let them know he was the fulfillment of the prophecy. The hair on the back of their necks probably stood up.
What activities characterized Jesus’ ministry? Our close consideration will give a benchmark for which to strive.
Here are the Spirit-filled and anointed activities Jesus performed that set people free and which the church is able to duplicate.
1. EVANGELISM. "Because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."
The word "preach" here in the original Greek carries the connotation "to bring the good news with a message intended to cheer up the hearer."
To the paraplegic Jesus said, "Be of GOOD CHEER, your sins are forgiven." (Mt. 9:2)
To the disciples on the storm-tossed sea - "Be of GOOD CHEER, it is I, be not afraid." (Mt. 14:27)
To His disciples when He told them He was going to heaven - "These things have I spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation. But be of GOOD CHEER, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Our goal should be to replicate the conduct of Jesus in the area of spreading good news.
2. ENCOURAGEMENT. "He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted."
"Brokenhearted" is a very descriptive word. It is used in the Bible only here and in the verse from Isaiah which Jesus quoted.
The bad news is there are a lot of brokenhearted people in this world. They suffer from broken relationships, they come from broken homes, they experience broken health, and a lot are financially broken.
Good news - Jesus can help put the pieces back together again.
The Bible concept is to be "made whole". (Mt. 9:22, 15:28; Mk. 6:56; Jn. 5:6,14; Acts 4:9)
The Greek word "whole" can be defined: "To cause to be; to generate; to become." God’s power is conducted through believers and the church to help people generate new lives, to become new people in Christ.
This wholeness is only accomplished through the work of Holy Spirit. He is the only One who can work on the inside where the broken heart beats.
Our mission is to follow the course set by Jesus in making the brokenhearted whole again.
3. EDIFICATION. "To preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind."
Once a person is made whole again through Christ, they need to experience the recovery and restoration process. This too, is a Spiritual work.
The scripture utilizes two very colorful words to describe people without Jesus: "captives" and "blind".
It also uses two powerful words for the restoration process: "deliverance" and "recovery".
Once a person is evangelized (step one) and encouraged (step two), they must be edified.
Edification is a good Bible word that describes the recovery or restoration process. Edification builds people up again, and is the opposite of the destruction and brokenness sin causes. (2 Corin. 13:10)
4. EQUIPPING. "To set at liberty them that are bruised."
Its one thing to be set free, but how are we supposed to handle the scars that sin leaves? How do we deal with the "bruises"?
The word "liberty" here literally means "freedom by pardon, forgiveness and remission".
The words pardon and forgiveness are pretty clear, but remission is a Bible word we don’t use as much today.
We do use it in one area that might help us understand its application. We remit payments for our bills.
Christ is saying He has made remission for our sin debt. He made the payment.
Application? "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)
The basic piece of equipment for liberty is assurance of forgiveness. It is the happy place of the Christ follower to assure those made whole by Christ that they are pardoned.
5. EXALTATION. "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Christ is talking about the Lord’s favor here - the gracious offer of Himself. Christ is the only "acceptable" offering for our sins.
The result of this offering of Himself for our sins?
"If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32)
The cross of Christ needs to be lifted up. What Jesus did for us needs to be lifted up. Worship has a magnetic appeal to the lost. The Spirit uses our praise for the Savior as a convincing tool to the lost.
When people begin to worship God and not themselves or the fake gods of materialism, hedonism, humanism, etc., they are set free! We cannot hide this light under a bushel basket!