Summary: A sermon on the the three fold purpose for which the Anointed Servant came into our lives.
Subject : The Anointed Servant
Text : Isaiah 61:1-7
Theme : The Purpose of the Anointed Servant
There are many things that have a purpose in life. Take newspapers for example; their main purpose is to keep us informed about what’s happening around us. However for my dog the newspaper has a very different purpose. Let me explain! My four aunties live together and each has their own special chair. We know who sits on which chair. My dog knows that too. In fact she drew special joy from irritating one particular aunty of mine. Whenever she saw my aunt head for her chair, this dog would run really fast and jump onto the chair and bark at her while wagging her tail all the time. Coaxing her out didn’t work, trying to bribe her with things didn’t work – until we found that newspapers worked very well. My dog had a fear of hearing the rustling sound of the newspaper. Soon for her – the newspaper had just one purpose – not reading news! But ‘RUN’ for newspapers were for discipline and nothing else!
Well we as Christians can also be mistaken about the purpose for which Jesus came into our lives. He is sure of the purpose but we aren’t. We may be ignorant or we may have misunderstood His purpose. Today …
I invite your attention to the fact that Jesus is anointed for the three-fold purpose of helping you.
Trans Sent. :
Isaiah 61:1-7 shows you what these three-fold purposes include.
I. The servant is anointed with the purpose of proclamation to the captives (vs.1-2b)
a. Proclamation of good tidings
b. Proclamation of healing
c. Proclamation of liberty
d. Proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favor
e. Proclamation of the day of His vengeance
1. Exposition of vs. 1-2b:
1.1. Understanding anointing – The words for anointing indicate the act of taking olive oil and smearing it on a person’s forehead or an object. The remaining oil would be poured over their head so that it ran to their feet showing total consecration or setting apart for God’s purposes. The purpose was two-fold - to set the anointed person/object apart as holy unto God and to commission them/it for service unto Him and His people. As you can see this is the nature of the anointing on Jesus. In the OT times, the prophet, priest, king or weapons of battle and items of use in the Temple were anointed.
1.2. When the people of Judah were taken captive by the Babylonians it was a very traumatic thing. They lost their homes, their loved ones, their beloved city and temple. They lost everything! There is no need to elaborate on the tortures that the prisoners of war would face. They would be taunted and humiliated. To be a prisoner is never a pleasant experience. Every prisoner longs to hear that the day of their freedom is at hand. How they long for the fresh air and liberty once again! But the picture that Isaiah paints here is of a King – God Himself coming to fight and take back His people from enemy territory. The King is victorious and He sends His messenger to tell His people that their freedom has been won. The enemy is utterly vanquished. It is a message to the people that the King loved them enough and valued them enough to fight for their freedom. This is good news that they are favored by God. He has avenged their tears and suffering and captivity. And the greatest thing is that this Messenger whom God uses as His Servant also happens to be the very One who won the freedom for you with His own blood.
1.3. The third thing I would like to highlight to you is the year of Jubilee. In this year, the slaves were released, all dues or things owed were forgiven. It is the year of freedom and celebration and joy.
2. Illustration: Hear this true story of a Red Indian Chief named Maskepetoon. He was a very violent young man who thought the purpose of life was to steal horses and scalp his enemies. Deep down in his heart was a hatred for his father’s murderer. However, Maskepetoon met Jesus and asked Him to be Lord over His life. With that came a change in the purpose of his life. After years he made peace with the enemy tribe of his father’s killer. At the time when he was sealing this peace, he saw this old warrior - his father’s killer, approach with the others. He ordered his best horse saddled and brought to the tent, then ordered the culprit to stand before him. The murderer expected to be killed. Instead he was asked to be seated. The Chief handed him his best, richly decorated suit. Then Maskepetoon spoke, "You killed my father. The time was when I would have gloried in drinking your blood, but that time is past. You need not fear. You must now become a father to me. Wear my clothes, ride my horse. Tell your people that this is the way Maskepetoon takes revenge." "You have killed me, my son!" cried the old murderer. "Never in the history of my people has such a thing as this been known. My people and all men will say, ‘The young Chief is brave and strong and good. He stands alone.’" What freed Maskepetoon of his hatred? Who gave Him new purpose in life? Jesus and Jesus alone!