“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord has anointed me to preach 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…” – Isaiah 61:1
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'” – Luke 4:14-21
Once you have found a comfortable place, spend a few moments in silence. Take a few deep breaths and feel your body begin to relax. When you feel your mind becoming quiet, offer a simple prayer to God, thanking him for his presence and inviting him to speak to you.
Jesus celebrated the Sabbath by going to the synagogue. Do you celebrate the Sabbath? Do you find it restful? Is there something you need to add or remove to make this day more restful?
The poor, the prisoner, the blind, the oppressed – one writer summarized this list as describing “those who have been traumatized by the stuff of life.” How have you been traumatized by the stuff of life? What affect does this have on you today?
We normally think of poor people as those who have no money, but there are other ways in which we can be poor. Some of us are emotionally poor. Some of us are poor spiritually. Others are poor in healthy relationships. In what ways are you poor? What would it look like to be rich in that area?
Has it ever felt like you have been held prisoner by something? How did you get free? In what area of life do you struggle to be free? Ask God to “proclaim freedom” to that part of your life. People who are oppressed struggle to share the freedom of those around them. In what ways are you helping others who are oppressed?
Jesus declared that this prophetic passage from the Old Testament book of Isaiah was being fulfilled. Do you sense these things being fulfilled in your life? Where are you experiencing freedom?
Where are you looking for freedom?