Walking in the way of Love
Isaiah 61: 1-3
Luke 4: 14 – 21
George Methodist Church
Sunday 29th September 2019
8am and 10am
It was around about this time last year that I felt the Lord laying on my heart this scripture and I know that there are parts that I have succeeded in and parts that I have failed in as I am sure you have as well. But I do believe that through our times together we are starting to see the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself in some glorious ways in our lives.
As Isaiah prophesied this so many years ago we must remember the state of his world:
The first verse of the Book of Isaiah states that Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (or Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah (Isaiah 1:1). Uzziah’s reign was 52 years in the middle of the 8th century BC, and Isaiah must have begun his ministry a few years before Uzziah’s death, probably in the 740s BC. Just remember that most of this prophecy is during the Babylonian exile. Isaiah lived until the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign (who died 698 BC). He may have been contemporary for some years with Manasseh. Thus Isaiah may have prophesied for as long as 64 years.
According to some modern interpretations, Isaiah’s wife was called “the prophetess” (Isaiah 8:3), either because she was endowed with the prophetic gift, like Deborah (Judges 4:4) and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14–20), or simply because she was the “wife of the prophet”. They had three sons, ( and I love this as I have three sons) naming the eldest Shear-jashub, meaning “A remnant shall return” (Isaiah 7:3), the next Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14), and the youngest, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, meaning, “Spoil quickly, plunder speedily” (Isaiah 8:3).
Isaiah 61: 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim 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.
Luke 4: 14 – 21
- The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
After Jesus’s time in the desert of temptation and His rejection in Nazareth He returns with power and the news about Him spread like wild fire. I find this absolutely profound that at a low point of His life He is exalted and the Spirit moves in Him to declare in the synagogue that the one that Isaiah spoke of was Him. I believe in a very profound way that the Spirit of the Lord was not only upon Jesus but also was given to us on the day of Pentecost. So what does this mean :
The evidence of the Spirit coming on us is described in this verse. It is a command and not an option. The Greek implies that it is something we are to be constantly doing. We are commanded to always being filled with the Holy Spirit. What is the evidence? The evidence of the Holy Spirit coming on us is singing, real worship, peace in our heart, and an attitude of thanksgiving. It is a real sense of His presence in all that we do.
We have discovered that the Holy Spirit has always been present in the lives of the Old and New Testament saints. He ministered to Jesus and through Jesus. Today He lives inside every true believer in Jesus Christ. He empowers us to live the Christian life. He is not a force but a divine person who loves us (Rom. 15:30), teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13-14), and empowers us (Eph. 3:16). The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He is active in our world, bringing men and women to Jesus Christ. He is then active in changing our lives to become more like Jesus Christ, to be holy like God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16).
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me . . . (NASB) John 15:26
- Anointed me.
It is the same God who anointed both Paul and the Corinthians. ‘Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us’ (v.21).
Nicky Gumbel says : (BiOY 27th August)
“It is not that only certain special Christians are anointed. We know that ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power’ (Acts 10:38). What is so amazing is that the same Spirit who anointed Jesus, has anointed us. You are ‘anointed’ by the Holy Spirit and so am I. God’s Spirit who lives in us as the ‘deposit’ is also the one who gives us his ‘anointing’. In order to understand how rich and beautiful this promise is we need to understand the Old Testament background.
In the Old Testament, three groups of people were anointed: kings, priests and prophets. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we are all now anointed with a kingly anointing, a priestly anointing and a prophetic anointing. What does this mean in practice?
2.1 You have a kingly anointing for the battle against temptation, sin and evil
Hezekiah was the anointed king. The king was to lead the people in all their struggles and battles. Hezekiah ‘was a good king’ (29:2, MSG). He ‘went to work. He got all the leaders of the city together’ (v.20, MSG). They restored the Temple and celebrated the Passover and got rid of all the false idols (31:1).
Hezekiah invited them, ‘Don’t repeat the sins of your ancestors who turned their backs on God … Clasp God’s outstretched hand. Come to His Temple of holy worship … Your God is gracious and kind and won’t snub you – come back and He’ll welcome you with open arms’ (30:7–10, MSG).
Raniero Cantalamessa writes that kingly anointing means that the Holy Spirit ‘urges Jesus and the Church on in [its] struggle against Satan.’ All of us have this kingly anointing. The Holy Spirit urges each of us on in our battle against temptation, sin and evil. You can call upon the Holy Spirit to help you when you are tempted, knowing that He will come alongside you and give you strength to overcome.
2.2 You have a priestly anointing to pray and worship
The priests in the Old Testament, and in this passage in particular, were anointed to be the mediators between God and human beings. We see here that they made sacrifices of bulls, lambs, goats, and so on (29:20 onwards). They sprinkled the blood of the bulls and lambs on the altar. They laid their hands on the goats and sacrificed them. These were offerings to atone for sin.
‘The Levites and priests praised God day after day, filling the air with praise sounds of percussion and brass. Hezekiah commended the Levites for the superb way in which they had led the people in the worship of God’ (30:22, MSG).
Jesus fulfilled this priestly anointing by dying as the Lamb of God whose blood was shed to take away our sins. This was a unique and final sacrifice for sin.
There is another sense in which the priestly anointing comes on us, the church. We share in Jesus’ priestly anointing: ‘You are a … royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9). The Spirit urges Jesus and the church to pray. In your prayers you have a priestly ministry as an intercessor for the people before God.
2.3 You have a prophetic anointing to speak the good news about Jesus
The chronicler refers to ‘Nathan the prophet’ (2 Chronicles 29:25) and says, ‘This was God’s command conveyed by his prophets’ (v.26, MSG). The prophets in the Old Testament were anointed to speak the word of the Lord. The Spirit anointed Jesus at his baptism to preach good news to the poor. This same Holy Spirit anoints you to speak his words today. You have this prophetic anointing.
The Church is God’s agent to bring the good news of Jesus to the world. Each time we tell a friend about Jesus, invite them on Alpha, for example, or speak into their lives in some way we are acting out this calling.”
- Good news to poor
This third anointing is something that we have been speaking about for quite a while as I do believe that it is our testimonies that can trun other people’s lives around. What compels us to do good is the Holy Spirit. Our lives should be easy to read as the living text of Jesus. It’s always called Good News and make sure that when you share that that is what it is!!!
- Bind up the brokenhearted
It is this part of our ministry that enables us not only to speak but also to care. We see with the eyes of the Lord and as much as Isaiah had the Holy Spirit guiding him to minister to the broken hearted so too did our Lord Jesus and so too must we.In our world we are constantly bombarded by the brokenhearted and in our church we are too, I love the words – bind up – care for in the Hebrew these words are profound -Transliteration: chabash
Phonetic Spelling: (khaw-bash’) – to bandage a wound. I am often overwhelmed at the amount of folk who need to be cared for and healed. Wednesday Alpha course and the power of prayer.
- Freedom for the captives and Release from darkness for prisoners
Start with ourselves – proclaiming freedom to ourselves in areas where we seem to be a captive. Tell ourselves we are free from addictive behavior, poor decision making, poverty, shame, etc. It is not the only thing we will do concerning these areas, but it is one of the most important.
Who have been taken captive by the things that just destroy us ?
Human trafficking, injustice, poverty etc…
Prophesy to others – Tell others who they really are.
Speak life to “dry bones” circumstances (Ezekiel 37) – In every situation possible, declare life.