Summary: 1) The Savior Proclaimed (Isa. 61:1-3), 2) The Salvation Protrayed (Isa. 61:4-7), 3) The Saints Promoted (Isa. 61:8-9) and 4) The Savior Praised (Isa. 16:10-11).
In 2008, a human rights tribunal ruled that Christian Horizons, an evangelical Christian group that provides care and homes for the severely disabled, should not have enforced a religious code of morality on its employees because the work they were engaged in was not religious. Rather, it involved caring for disabled people regardless of their religion.
Lawyers for Christian Horizons have said its main purpose was primarily to serve the broader evangelical community, and that having a common faith and like-minded values allowed the group to perform its charitable work at a high level of excellence. They also said their charitable work flowed from their faith. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2349660
One commentator, Jonathan Kay, wrote that “What is at stake here is not simply justice for Christian Horizons, but also the very future of Godly work in Ontario. It is not everyone who seeks to spend their career changing adult diapers and herding groups of developmentally disabled adults around parks, museums and hospitals. Often, it is a special kind of person — who takes divine inspiration to help the less fortunate. It is therefore wrong to claim (as their opponents do) that the work Christian Horizons does can be separated from religious faith and morality”.
This story revolves around mission. It provides us an opportunity to put their mission in the broader context of what we consider this season, celebrating the incarnation, the first coming of Christ and the implications for us because of it.
Chapter 60 Isaiah introduces and describes the glorious kingdom that has been promised by Jehovah. Conspicuously absent in that chapter is the King that rules over the kingdom. In this chapter Isaiah introduces the One who will rule (KJV Bible Commentary. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994, S. 1409). This person has been personally chosen and empowered by God for a purpose, and that purpose is to bring about the deliverance of his people (in the sight of the nations, as 61:11 makes plain) so that they will be righteous, just as the Servant is said to have done (53:11).
We are not to suppose that the prophet unfolds to us in the present passage the whole purpose of God in sending his Son into the world. Still, as the subject is one of transcendent interest, and as our Lord himself cites the passage as descriptive of his mission, it may be useful to note how many, and what purposes, it sets before us as included in the counsels of the Father, and intended to be realized by Christ’s coming (Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Hrsg.): The Pulpit Commentary: Isaiah Vol. II. Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004, S. 416).
The Christmas story is more than a collection intersting historical events allowing us the opprotunity to get together. The Christmas story is the story of a savior’s mission realized. Isaiah 61 is a prophetic declaration of our Savior’s mission and its acomplishment by Him. The mission is explained in four elements of: 1) The Savior Proclaimed (Isa. 61:1-3), 2) The Salvation Protrayed (Isa. 61:4-7), 3) The Saints Promoted (Isa. 61:8-9) and 4) The Savior Praised (Isa. 16:10-11).
1) The Davior Proclaimed (Isa. 61:1-3)
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (ESV)
Having spoken in the preceding chapter of the blessings in the city of God toenjoy, the prophet now turns to speak of the one who will bring those blessings . Or, to put it another way, having just described what the city will look like as it reflects the light, he now speaks of the Light itself, the Servant/Messiah. Throughout the OT, from its first occurrences, the concept of the Spirit of the Lord resting or being on someone connotes supernatural wisdom and capacity (Gen. 41:38; Exod. 31:3; Num. 11:17, 29, etc.). In Isaiah the Spirit is especially associated with the power to bring justice and righteousness on the earth, often through the spoken word (11:2; 32:15–16; 42:1; 44:3; 48:16; 59:21).
• Christ is both the light of the world and the incarnate word of God.
o He is the true light of Christmas and the ultimate word of comfort and hope from God Himself.
What is the work that God the Father sent Christ, God the Son, to this earth to do? It is to preach good news). This verb occurs at critical places in this part of the book (40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 60:6) dealing with the hope of the nation, both for deliverance from Babylon and for the larger deliverance that the Babylonian captivity represents. Here the Servant/Messiah himself is the one who brings the good news of God’s triumph. Because he has done what no one else could do (53:4–5, 10–12; 59:15b–21; 63:1–6), he is not only the preacher of the good news—he is the good news, able to give (v. 3) what he announces.