September 6, 2018
Luke 4: 18… The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Jesus read this in the synagogue. He was reading from Isaiah 61. Many people have concluded that he was sent to heal our sicknesses. That could be because of the phrase… ‘recovery of sight to the blind.’ This morning as I read it I was made aware of the word… “liberty”. It appears twice in the explanation of the good news.
I have noticed that some people are bound up… often by fear. Jesus was sent to earth to proclaim liberty to the captives and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. I wonder if “oppressed” is a Bible, old world, word for “depressed.” This is speculation on my part and not necessarily interpretation. But, I am going to pursue it because one thing I do know about Jesus; He was thorough. When He healed blindness, He healed it… the blind person could see.
When he sets at liberty the oppressed, He frees them from oppression. In Christ, we have no fear. We don’t even fear the Devil; we fear only God. Fear of God translates into respect and awe. When in the presence of one who could squish the earth in one hand and toss it aside, ‘fear’ would be the appropriate description of feelings. But, we don’t only fear God; we also trust Him. He could destroy us, but He has promised that He loves us. And after He flooded the earth, He promised that He would never do that again. Why did he promise that? He does not want us to live in fear. After 9-11, I remember wondering, “What is next?” We live in times of fear. “Fear” can lead to feelings of oppression. Jesus heals us of oppression. Now, I will enter into controversy. Don’t look to medicine to heal you, look to Jesus. I am not opposed to medicine. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “A joyful heart does good like a medicine.” He said that a medicine does good. Don’t misread this. Medicine helps but Jesus heals. He heals not only physical ailments but also oppression. It is not healthy to be oppressed.