1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.
Most people prefer to be bearers of good news rather than bad news.
Managers would rather tell their employees of an upcoming pay raise than an impending layoff. Doctors would rather give their patients a clean bill of health than a diagnosis of disease. Parents would rather tell their children that a new brother or sister is on the way than to announce, “Mom and Dad aren’t going to live together anymore.”
Bearers of bad news often get blamed; messengers of good news often share in the joy of celebration.
From his vantage point as the Lord’s prophet, Isaiah foresaw good news and bad news. He foresaw God’s judgment in Jerusalem’s destruction and the people’s exile to Babylon in 586 BC. He also foresaw God’s salvation coming decades later as Babylon fell to the Persians and Old Testament heroes such as Ezra and Nehemiah led the exiles home to rebuild Jerusalem, the Lord’s temple, and the faithful covenant community.
Ultimately, Jesus revealed that He was God’s anointed to bring the good news of God’s salvation from sin to the lost world (see Mark 1:14-15).
Salvation transforms the believer and gives them joy where there was mourning, and hope instead of despair. The believer’s transformed life testifies to others of God’s glory. And that is the best news of all.
- In what ways has your transformed life testified to others about God and His glory?
- In practical terms, how can you help fulfill Christ’s mission as described in Isaiah 61:1-3?
Praise God for sending Jesus to fulfill the mission of bringing good news of forgiveness and new life to the world.