Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has chosen me. He has commissioned me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners, … Isaiah 61.1
This is a passage that speaks of the Messiah, God’s chosen one. Since we know that Jesus is the Messiah, we understand that this passage is referring to Jesus.
In Luke 4.16-21, Jesus was in Nazareth, his hometown. It was the Sabbath Day and he went to the synagogue as he usually did. He stood up to read and he was given a scroll of the book of Isaiah. He read Isaiah 61.1-2a. He began to tell them, in verse 21, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” Jesus was proclaiming to be God’s Messiah.
In Matthew 11.2-6, John the Baptist was in prison. He sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was the Messiah? In response to their question, Jesus made reference to Isaiah 61.1. He told them to tell John of all they had seen and heard.
Jesus is the only one who has the power and ability to set men free from their spiritual bondage to sin. It is through his sacrifice and death that we have forgiveness of our sins. Jesus said in John 8.31-32 that if we follow his teaching, we will know the truth. And the truth will set us free!