Monday 01 March 2021

Bible Book:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God (vs 1-2a)

Isaiah 61: 1-7 Monday 1 March 2021

Psalm 93


This passage is a significant one in both Christian and Jewish readings of the text. It was later understood as pointing forward to the coming of the Messiah. It’s part of the reason that Jesus used it at the beginning of his ministry and is described as his Nazareth Manifesto. It’s noteworthy that when John the Baptist sent disciples to Jesus to ask whether he was 'the one' or whether they should wait for another, Jesus' response is couched in terms that are shaped by this manifesto rooted in the "year of the Lord’s favour" (Isaiah 61:2).

The year of the Lord’s favour is only one half of the declaration. The other half is the day of vengeance for God. For in order that the broken-hearted may be bound up and captives be released, the oppressed receive good news and the mourning provided with the oil of gladness instead of ashes, it is necessary that captors are overthrown and oppressors brought to justice. The year of the Lord’s favour is only good news for the righteous. It is simultaneously bad news for the unrighteous whose power bases will be dismantled.

Some of the foundational themes of the later beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) are found here. Blessed are the poor, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek. 


To Ponder:

  • This is a passage which offers some hope to those who are oppressed or captive, mourning or broken-hearted. God’s anointed one is bringing good news. What are some signs of hope for us today?
  •  What the passage does not attempt to address is the question we often want to know: where was the anointed one when our oppression began? And why has it taken this long for God to notice our plight? How do we remain hopeful when God appears to be absent or not to notice our plight?
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