Mission

He returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.

The glad tidings or good news that the Prince of Peace proclaimed was that God was a loving, caring Father and we, his sons, can enter into a relationship with him. God the Father was not only the God of Abraham and Isaac – he was the God of all peoples of all nations on earth.

He proclaimed that we all could become liberated faith-sons of the creator of the entire universe. He came to tell those who were in bondage to fear, sin and superstition that they could be free – that this relationship between God and Man could break the chains which hold men and women down.

The Greek word for bring the good news is evaggelizo, where we get our word evangelize. The other interesting thing to note is that the Hebrew word for poor used in the book of Isaiah is anav which literally means downcast or depressed. Often this word is translated humble or meek or lowly.

People are depressed because of their circumstances: they are sick or afraid or confused; they are caught up in the addictive deception of sin and can’t get free; and they are shackled in their minds by the enslaving power of religious tradition. Financial struggles plague the hearts of men and women: in our society debt is widespread and poverty is rampant throughout the world. Social injustice and inequality result in the oppression of the weak by the strong and the leaders of the nations are often dictatorial and indifferent to the needs of the common people.

The Son of Man showed that the power of God will manifest itself in the believer’s life like a fountain of living water which wells up inside of us and gives us spiritual energy and power to combat and overcome the obstacles and difficulties in our lives. He revealed God as an approachable Father who was there to counsel and guide us in our day-to-day struggles.

Joshua revealed himself as our spiritual brother willing to aid us and help us in overcoming our struggles in life: in this world you will have many troubles but take heart for I have overcome the world.

Salvation alone often sets people completely free from many of life’s problems. Such is the power of the Spirit…not by might nor by power but by my spirit. Salvation makes for immediate improvement in the family, the hearts of the fathers are turned to their children. Many new believers have testified to being freed from addictions on the day of their acceptance of God as their Father in Heaven.

My yoke is easy and my burden is light. The gospel which this carpenter proclaimed was not difficult to follow – anyone can understand it, even a child. He did not create a long list of do’s and don’t’s, nor a complicated philosophy which required years of study. He showed the world a way of living life which was first of all simple, secondly spiritual and thirdly it was based on reality: God is our Father and we are his sons.

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