He Has Come to Bring Freedom
“This scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” These words from Jesus Christ are the start of His active ministry and the fulfillment of promises made centuries before. All of the Jewish people were waiting for this Scripture, for the scriptures to be fulfilled. This wasn’t the only passage He could have read, he could have highlighted one that was more focused on the details of His birth and lineage or one focused on how He was to suffer. Why this one? I believe this reading most revealed Jesus’ heart for people, His heart for you and me. All the things He did: His hidden life, His miracles, His teaching, His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, the institution of the Church, all of this was to serve the goal of bringing joy, freedom, and healing to those in need of it.
I forget the abundant freedom and joy God wants for me too often. I get lost in to-do-lists and “shoulds” and my faith life becomes one more duty I’m failing to complete well. Day-to-day I experience messages of anxiety, frustration of my own limitations, blindness to things beyond the immediate, oppression that keeps me from engaging in the spiritual reality of life. The therapy I’m doing right now talks much about parts and I’m learning that while part of me has internalized the faith and has a relationship with God, other parts are still stuck in anxiety and oppression.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Today, I hear Jesus’ words spoken to all of these parts: “This scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” His work of redemption is still happening, my friend, in your life and in mine. There is One who loves you deeply, there is a story going on bigger than the repetitive drudgery of the day-to-day that we all get lost in. He has come into my life to bring glad tidings to my depressed parts, to proclaim liberty to my anxious parts, to recover sight for my parts that fail to see each other and the bigger picture, to let my oppressed parts go free. He wants to do this for you too.
Today, I hope you have a moment to sit with this passage prophesying Jesus, the one that was important enough that He used it to summarize His mission that day in Nazareth. Can you hear Him say these words to you? Let Him minister and love those parts of you that need it!