Isaiah 61: 1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

A Thought

The writer of this passage has been anointed by the Spirit of God to give testimony to give the good news of the salvation that gives freedom to those held captive in darkness. He proclaims the year of God’s favor to comfort those who grieve and mourn, with a crown of beauty, oil of gladness with a garment of praise. They will be able to rebuild those things that have been lost for generations. Luke recorded the testimony of Jesus as he read this same passage of the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath day followed by these words, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus affirmed that he is the good news of salvation that would restore mankind. Today this is the same ministry that the Holy Spirit has anointed us to proclaim the year of God’s favor found in his son, Jesus the Christ. We are also to proclaim that the day of God’s vengeance will come. God’s favor is still with us to receive freedom from darkness. The choice belongs to each of us–the Lord’s favor or the vengeance of God for our sin.

Our Prayer

Father we ask for your oil of gladness and garment of praise to worship you for giving us your way of forgiveness and healing to restore us back to you. Help us to proclaim our testimony of you to others that through your Spirit they will receive Jesus the Christ and be restored in your favor and splendor of your righteousness. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.