Do you remember the scene in Jesus of Nazareth, when he entered the synagogue and opened the scroll, and all eyes were on Jesus? I can still feel the tension as a little girl, wondering what Jesus would say after his hard testings in the desert, to all the people from his home town.
This past year, when I was in India, I unpacked the Hebrew from that scroll of Isaiah which Jesus read:
The ruah breath of the Adonai Jehoveh (Lord God) is upon me, now pay attention!
The eternal Jehoveh has consecrated me with His oil of commission
To announce with refreshing full good news to the low, discouraged
To cry loudly freedom to those carried into captivity
To rip open the prisons and release those who are yoked in.
Now that is a missions statement!
Here is the rest of the passage, because every Jew listening would have memorized by age 12 these Scriptures:
To proclaim also the hot day of vengeance of God alone
To ease everyone whatsoever who mourn
To ordain those that lament in my chosen Zion
the clothing of rejoicing for those who have had the wind knocked out of them and lay hurt in obscurity and darkness that they may be proclaimed strong vibrant pillars of justice,
The planting of Jehovah that He might be glorified.
They shall build the forgotten wastelands,
they shall rise up and establish the ancient astonishings,
and they shall restore the drought cities and the places formerly strong and astonishing from the ages to the ages.
And foreigners shall establish and feed your migrations, and the sons of aliens will farm and tend the vineyards.
But you shall be named Priests of Jehovah; you will be known by men as a minister of God, you shall consume of the virtue of the nations and their Glory will be yours.
Instead of disgrace, your joy will resound at the smooth inheritance and the double portion will be yours as infinite joy will be yours.
Truly, I the Lord Jehovah, love justice, I hate ascending plunder; and I will direct and oversee their task of truth, and I will cut an eternal covenant with them.
And their seed, their fruit will be famous among the nations and children will impact the tribes: all that discern them will acknowledge that they are the seed that the Lord has blessed. (Isaiah 61: 3-9)
Notice Isaiah’s response to God’s plan:
I am thrilled to bits in Jehovah, all that I am shall spin around with joy in my Elohim
He is my covering, my very mantle of justice, my Bridegroom Priest, my Head, I his Bride advancing in His preparations.
Truly as the earth brings forth spring buds, as the garden springs forth with what is sown,
Even so: the Adonis Jehovah will cause His lauded virtue and justice to spring forth to all and whosoever in the nations.
(Kind of like the freedom we see in these faces, the boys, the girls, the babe?)
After reading this Scripture, Jesus sat down and began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Today, the Scripture of freedom is being fulfilled in your hearing!
Jesus Christ, Lord of all, has trusted us, His very disciples to continue the mission! His commission is now ours!
O Fix your eyes on the One who empowers and graces each of us to be freedom bearers! Fix your eyes on the One who loves you – Christ, in you, the Hope of Glory!
I leave you with this song by Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King and Country,,singing their anthem, “Fix My Eyes”. May we live fully engaged as freedom bearers, wrapped in His clothing, as we fix our eyes on Him.