The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim 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, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
About half of today’s scripture is very well known from Jesus’ reading it in the Nazareth synagogue one Sabbath at the start of his earthly ministry. Whether Isaiah 61 was the assigned reading or one that Jesus chose, he ended his reading, “…to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor”, with the statement, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus is proclaiming that He is the one God sent with Good News, to set people free from the bondage of sin. Yet, while Jesus stopped there, the scripture goes on, “and the day of vengeance of our God, t comfort all who mourn …” God’s message through Isaiah was yes, a Messiah is coming bringing good news, but also for those in exile and those grieving over the fallen Jerusalem, God has not forgotten them or city of Zion. He will bring his vengeance on those that caused this, and restore His people and their city – encouraging news for a people in despair. And we can take this another step further, that Jesus, Messiah came the first time to save, but is coming again, soon, as judge of all mankind. Prepare your hearts, prepare the way for Jesus, He is coming soon.