What is Jesus’ state His purpose? Lk 4:17-18
17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus is directly quoting from Isaiah the Messianic texts
Is 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness to the prisoners,
This is a Jesus’ resume
Mat 11:5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and good news is preached to the poor.
4 Groups: preach Good News to Poor, release to Captives, sight to blind, free those oppressed
This is a description of the Jubilee Year which occurred every 7 years in Israel
Lev 25: 8-12
8 “And you shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall send abroad the trumpet throughout all your land. 10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. 11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you; in it you shall neither sow, nor reap what grows of itself, nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat what it yields out of the field.
Jesus talks about a year acceptable to the Lord, this is a Jubilee Year where all are debts are forgiven and freedom is given to slaves, return of ancestral land. It occurred every 7 years and a 7 x 7 years was extra special time of favor. 7 is a number of perfection, a joining of God/spiritual (3) and man (4) temporal. This release was a cause of great rejoicing.
Passage read, we exclude ourselves from the 4 categories of poor, deaf, lame, slave, oppressed
We have a warped vision of ourselves
Spiritual poverty, blindness, deafness potentially eternal
Vast majority of Our Lord’s words directed to eternal and material
Hard to hear whisper of the Lord’s voice
Jesus is proclaiming freedom from sin, aphesis GK, release= forgiveness. Not a political or economic liberation which is what 1sy century expectations were. Another David, another Maccabees. It is not to downplay temporal needs, but to put then in proper order. Seek ye first KOH and all else will be added unto you. Forgiveness first, healing & restoration second.
And this is the rub. For the 1st century Jews and for the modern day. We want to identify Jesus purpose with economic prosperity. We want the political rulers we want. We really don’t see ourselves needing a Savior. We don’t see Jesus as God. Thus Advent & Christmas meanings are emptied and it is one party, one event, one present after another.
Advent Christmas makes sense only understood within Jesus understanding of His Mission.
Pelagian heresy thinks man can save himself.
No one wants to talk about being a slave to sin, passions and needing a savior. We prefer Jesus being just another wise man instead of God. Thus, He has no claim on us.
Advent & Christmas only make sense if we identify with these 4 groups of people. Poor does not only mean material want. Poverty more broadly understood in terms of lack of love, lack of holiness, sloth, etc…
The fun part of Christmas is possible without knowledge of Christ, emptied of their meaning
Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. Jn 15:5 Our nothingness is our liberation. We rely on Jesus’ love for us, not our own wits and strength.