06/08/M – Anointed by the Spirit

Numbers 31:25-54; Luke 4:14-30; Psalms 64:1-9; Proverbs 16:26-27

NT: “Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity. He was teaching in their synagogues, being praised by everyone. He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, and unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:14-21‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Just as Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, and victoriously endured the temptation in the wilderness by the power of the Spirit, He returned to Galilee and began His ministry in the power of the Spirit. Everything He did was by the power of the Holy Spirit that was upon Him and within Him. When He came to his hometown and entered his home synagogue, He was given the opportunity to speak. Intentionally, He asked for the scroll of Isaiah the prophet and found this specific passage (what we know as Isaiah 61:1-2). He proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me and has anointed me to preach good news… to heal the broken hearted, release the captive, give sight to the blind, set free the oppressed, and proclaim Jubilee! Then He stopped. He intentionally didn’t finish the thought. The passage goes on to say, “and the day of God’s vengeance,” But Jesus hadn’t come to bring vengeance (even though that is what the people wanted). Jesus’ first coming was to win freedom. His second coming will be the day of vengeance. At that time, He was anointed to give sight to blind people (both physically and spiritually) and set imprisoned and oppressed people free… to reconcile men to God and man to man. Those who are now in Christ have that same Spirit upon them and that  same anointing. We are anointed by the Spirit to cause people to see what they couldn’t see before… to bring the light of truth to their eyes. We are anointed to set imprisoned and oppressed people free. We are anointed to heal the broken-hearted. We are anointed to first bring people to God and reconcile them to our Heavenly Father, so that they may truly be reconciled to one another… to see walls of division, walls of prejudice, walls of hatred, walls of devaluation and dehumanization come down. If we are truly in Christ and filled with His Holy Spirit, we are specifically anointed to do this until the end of the age. Then at the end of the age, God will have His day of vengeance on those who refused to be reconciled.

Psalms: “God, hear my voice when I am in anguish. Protect my life from the terror of the enemy. Hide me from the scheming of wicked people, from the mob of evildoers, who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from concealed places at the blameless. They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid… But God will shoot them with arrows; suddenly, they will be wounded. They will be made to stumble; their own tongues work against them. All who see them will shake their heads. Then everyone will fear and will tell about God’s work, for they will understand what he has done.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭64:1-4, 7-9‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

This is good news for those who are in Christ… those who have been reconciled to God. God will protect us from those who seek our harm. He will protect us from mobs formed with evil intent. He will protect us from slanderous accusations. As we remain humble before the Lord, sincerely following Him and completely submitted to His word, will, and ways; He will turn the plans of those who are against us back on them. Their plans for our destruction will destroy them. Their words of accusation will be pointed at them. Our work is reconciliation. Our responsibility is to be at peace with God and as much as is possible, to be at peace with men. Trust the Lord. As we do what we have been anointed to do, He will bring justice.

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