Summary: The life of our Lord is a constant testimony to His desire to please the Father, more than anyone else. Thus, His actions and His words are always governed by the will of the Father. Think about what did Christ’s calling mean? THE CROSS ... Are you ready?
Opening Illustration: A missionary couple who had been gone from the US for years on end were finally coming home. They had faithfully served God and ministered among the poor, and had seen many lives brought into the kingdom of God. When they got off the airplane, there was a crowd of people cheering and waving “Welcome home” banners. At first, the missionaries were overwhelmed that so many had turned out for their homecoming. But then, they realized that the banners and crowds of people were not for them at all, but for somebody else on the plane. As a matter of fact, nobody at all had turned out to welcome these old missionaries home. Nobody was there to thank them or even shake their hand. But then the husband turned to his wife and said, “It doesn’t matter. Remember, although we’ve come back to the United States, we are not truly home yet. There will be a wonderful welcome and a great reception when we enter our eternal home in heaven.” That couple had it right. Like Jesus, their goal was to be popular with God.
Introduction: Do not expect to have a smooth and trouble-free life while having the call of God upon your life. The road to fulfill that call is not always a rosy picture. If you are pleasing God above men, you are surely going to run into gravel, boulders and sometimes even a wall. Jesus was all about pleasing His Father and sure did he get Himself into a lot of trouble which finally took Him to the cross.
The road to the call of God upon your life is hard and packed with adversity and challenges. You may even encounter the wrath, hate and life threats from people. How it pans out depends upon how intense your relationship with God really is. If you are a God pleaser, do not expect a leveled ground. It is asking for the moon. Obviously you cannot serve 2 masters or try to please two opposites. You are going to run into more problems. For that call to be fulfilled in your life, you have to decide whether you want to reconcile with walking on this road or not …
What will you encounter on your road to fulfill God’s call?
1. WITNESS to the FULFILLMENT of your call (vs. 16-22)
Jesus had alluded to Isaiah 61:1-2 as a witness to His calling. The fulfillment could be categorized in six forms.
Firstly, His calling was to preach the gospel to the poor. The Gospel, the good news is that God has provided a Savior from sin, and that those who believe in Jesus Christ will be delivered from death, and given eternal life.
Secondly, His calling was to come to heal the brokenhearted. Now, I know this phrase is not in some of your Bibles, but it is in the majority of the ancient texts, and it is also found in Isaiah 61:1, so I think it belongs there. And I’m thankful it is there, because all of us are brokenhearted at times, and Jesus came to comfort us and help us through our sorrows.
Thirdly, His calling was to proclaim liberty to the captives. This is liberty from spiritual bondage to sin. All of us, even when we are Christians, find ourselves in bondage to certain sins. In Christ, you have been set free.
Fourth, His ministry was one of giving sight to the blind. He did this physically by healing blind people, but more importantly, He came to give sight to those who are spiritually blind. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelieving. Jesus came to give sight back to those who were blind. He gives spiritual understanding to those who walk in darkness.
Fifthly, His calling was to set at liberty those who are oppressed. The word oppressed could also be translated “bruised.” It has the idea of being crushed, shattered, broken down, and mistreated in life. Is that how you feel? Broken, mistreated, shattered, overlooked, lacerated by life, distressed, downcast, exhausted, ready to quit? He came to set you free too. To heal your wounds, and set you free, and give you liberty and joy and peace. It is all found in Jesus. He said, “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Finally, as stated in Luke 4:19, Jesus’ calling was one in which He proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord. This is first of all a reference to the Jewish Year of Jubilee. It was a year when all debts were forgiven, all land was returned to its original owner. Everybody got a brand new start. A fresh beginning. And that is what we get in Jesus Christ. He makes everything new. We are a new creation in Christ. The old is gone, the new is come.