Pastor Jeff Reed
Hillside Covenant Church
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
When Jesus formally announced to His hometown synagogue the nature of His mission to the world, He used the words of Isaiah 61:1-2. What is curious to note is what He omitted from the original. First, He does not include “binding up the brokenhearted” in His list. And second, He stops mid-sentence and does not include the proclamation of “the day of God’s vengeance.”
Why these two omissions? Surely Jesus cares about our broken hearts! See how He wept at the weeping of Mary beside the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:33-35)! Surely he cares about justice! Jesus, in His first advent, had come to save the world, not to judge it (John 3:17).
Jesus came to destroy the root of evil and death through His death and resurrection, but He had not come to put all things right just yet – that would come later, when He returns bearing both the sword of judgment (Revelation 19:15) and ushering in the age where tears and sorrow are a thing of the past (Revelation 21:4). The essential mark of the kingdom of God would be the absence of slavery, not necessarily of sorrow.
Until all things are made new (Revelation 21:5), we continue to sojourn through valleys of heartache. And herein we find the challenge of Jesus for us: On His behalf we bear the privilege of comforting the still-sorrowing, and weeping with the still-weeping, as we join Him in destroying the network of the devil’s slaveries, cutting through them like the cobwebs they are, until the new age dawns and the former things have passed away for good!
Prayer: Jesus, we continue to fulfill Your mission as we bind up the brokenhearted in Your name. Amen.