This week’s devotions are based on the Week 3 “A Savior Born for You! (WATCH HERE)
Isaiah 61: The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
About this time of year one might expect to find articles in magazines like “Time” or “Newsweek” that claim to portray the “real Jesus.” While I don’t read many of these articles, the ones I have read in the past get some things right, but often miss the key parts of who Jesus is as true God and man and his true purpose of coming to the world to complete the work and payment for sin. Narratives often focus on the “movement” of Christ, or the “example” Christ brought or the “moral teaching” he promoted.
What the prophet Isaiah spoke of very clearly 700 years before Jesus was born was a key purpose for which Jesus was set apart for a special purpose…”preach good news to the poor.” When Jesus was guest preaching in Nazareth early in his ministry, he quoted these verses from Isaiah 61 and said this:
Luke 4:20 Then [Jesus] rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The challenge in Nazareth is that not all were poor in spirit. They were looking for Jesus to perform a miracle but were not receptive to the “good news” he was bringing for those who recognized their spiritual need for his work as Messiah.
The good news of Christmas will move right past us if we don’t realize the deep need we have for Jesus and his mission to the world to do the work of saving the world. The good news wasn’t about a new political order or ruler. The good news wasn’t about a new moral code. The good news wasn’t about a new social order or dynamic. The good news were words that the soul that was deprived of any ability to save oneself needed. The Pharisees weren’t looking for good news. The miracle watchers weren’t looking for good news, but the tax-collectors broken by their guilt of cheating and stealing did. The adulterous woman who agonized over her immorality was. The demon-possessed that longed for freedom yearned for good news. The list goes on.
I pray you too are among the “poor” to whom Jesus’ message of good news brings true rejoicing this Christmas. Poor isn’t in wealth, but in realizing that I am helpless and hopeless without the One anointed to not just proclaim good news, but to be the essential reality behind that good news!
Those to whom Jesus came and proclaimed this good news and received it by faith, receive this blessing:
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The result of the good news landing on the hearts of those depleted of personal ambition to perform their way into heaven, is the security that the soul desires that Jesus is the very one who came to not just be the Savior but let the world know that he IS the Savior!
Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Apply: Take time this week to pause in your Christmas celebration to reflect on how good the good news is that Jesus was anointed to accomplish the work of being your Savior!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving up your throne in heaven to bring to reality the good news of which Isaiah prophesied and you fulfilled. AMEN.