WHAT DID JESUS SAY? (PART 2) Yesterday we were discussing Luke 4:18-19 and Jesus reading the scroll of the prophet in the synagogue in Nazareth (Isaiah 62:1-2). Jesus applied this text to Himself as Messiah and said four things that marked His public ministry in His time on earth. We discussed the first thing yesterday; He came to preach the good news to the poor, and today we look at the remaining things. The second thing this passage teaches us is that Jesus came to proclaim freedom for prisoners in literal physical prisons run by the government by setting them free spiritually. And he also came to free everyone who is bound in terrible circumstances of their own making or someone else’s making by offering them spiritual freedom and helping them to make right decisions that will free them from the things that bind them. As Christians following Jesus’ example we need to minister to those who are bound spiritually because of sin and if it is in our power to also help them out of the bondage they are in. Even though Jesus did not come to release people out of prison in the physical sense of setting them free from prison Jesus can give real freedom to all those who are bound spiritually or physically and the body of Christ, the church, needs to follow Jesus’ example in this area.
The third thing to note in this passage as Jesus applies it to Himself is that Jesus came to provide recovery of sight to the blind. All of mankind is spiritually blind until they come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. As the former blind man of John 9:25 says, “I was blind but now I see.” Jesus healed the man both physically and spiritually to show that the power of God resided in Him to forgive sins. There are multitudes of people around us who need to know Jesus and His marvelous power of releasing them from their spiritual blindness which is much worse than physical blindness. The fourth thing Jesus said about Himself is that He came to set the oppressed free. As you watch Jesus in the gospels, you see how Jesus set people free from all types of oppression such as demon possession, religious oppression, and material oppression. Sin is able to oppress people in a lot of ways mentally, physically, and emotionally. But the Truth found in Jesus can set them free.
This Christmas season may God help to remind us that Jesus came to earth at Bethlehem to proclaim the good news to us spiritually poor sinners so that we could become spiritually rich children of King Jesus. There are all kinds of ways to be spiritually poor, blind, oppressed and bound in this world without the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to set us free. We who know Jesus in this Christmas season need to share the good news of the arrival of Jesus so that others may be set free.