Summary: An exposition of Isaiah 61:1-3
Islington Baptist Church November 4, 2001
Series: Jesus in the book of Isaiah
Today’s title: The Spirit led ministry of Jesus Christ
Last week we began a new series entitled “Jesus in the book of Isaiah”, and in doing so I challenged you to read the book of Isaiah. In the book of Isaiah there are dozens of direct references and allusions to Jesus and the ministry that he had.
Review of what we learned last week about Jesus from Isaiah 40:1-11
1. It’s a text which has hope and comfort as its overarching theme
2. The greatest words of comfort and hope communicated to us in Isaiah 40 is this: God/Jesus is coming.
In regards to Jesus’ coming, Isaiah 40 …
a. Anticipates the ministry of John the Baptist whose work it was to prepare people for the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
b. Taught the people of Isaiah’s day that Jesus’ coming would not be for a long time (Isaiah prophesied Jesus’ coming in 700 B.C)—and yet as the text emphasizes “God is true to His word”
c. Teaches that Jesus’ coming would be joyfully and loudly proclaimed—and indeed his coming was, for the angels appeared in the sky declaring his arrival
d. Presents to us a most beautiful image of Christ: the image of Jesus as a gentle shepherd.
As you and I carry on in our study of Jesus in the book of Isaiah today I would like to preface our study with these words from I Peter 1:10-12 “concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things”
This is a really neat text because….
Please turn with me to today’s text: Isaiah 61. Isaiah 61 as a whole is all about Jesus and his ministry; a ministry of word and deed. Our focus today is going to be Isaiah 61:1-3 (READ keeping in mind the passage of I Peter that I just quoted)
This morning for our scripture reading Luke 4:16-30 was read. In verses 18-19 Jesus announces that in him the prophetic words of Isaiah 61:1-2, which are before us presently, are fulfilled. Jesus’ claim was that Isaiah was speaking about him—and so with this said let us consider the portrait of Christ given to us in Isaiah 61
I. Jesus’ ministry was a Spirit led and directed ministry
Jesus did not come upon his accord nor did he come down to us to act upon his own initiative. Jesus came by the direction of God the Father, being set apart in a special way. Jesus came to do the Father’s will, so doing by the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Listen to verse 1a again “The Spirit of the LORD God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed me”
Jesus’ ministry was a Spirit led, Spirit directed ministry.
Before we further consider the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ ministry note the portrayal of the Godhead here in this verse.
There is reference to the Spirit, there is a reference to Christ (the Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me), and there is a reference to the Father in the word “LORD”
Now let us think further upon this subject “the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ ministry”, clearly anticipated here in Isaiah 61 and throughout the book of Isaiah.
-in his birth: to Mary the angel said “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”
-At his baptism “the Spirit of God descended upon him like a dove and lighted upon him”
-his temptation: it was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus out into the wilderness and there Jesus was tempted by the Devil
-he drove out demons by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28)
-at times he spoke by the leading of the Holy Spirit; for in Luke 10:21ff it says “At that time, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children…….”
So we see the point: Jesus’ ministry, spoken of in Isaiah 61:1ff was a Spirit led, Spirit directed one.