“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 freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
If like me you live in the UK, you can’t have helped but notice that this year is an election year. The Conservative Party launched into election mode on January 1st with a poster campaign sporting a giant airbrushed picture of David Cameron and the slogan, “we can’t go on like this.” Since then, all the main political parties have started their unofficial campaigns, usually saying what they won’t do that their opponents will. There was a time when election campaigns were fought on policies, and parties made pledges about what they what do. Increasingly these days, however, elections are fought by criticising the other parties, and playing on the looks and personalities of the party leaders.
Thankfully, Jesus did more than criticise his opponents. He made plenty of promises about what he would do, and in today’s verses, he quotes Isaiah to outline his aims. He begins by stating that the Spirit of the Lord is on him, Lord being the title usually reserved for God. Jesus begins straight away by affirming that he has been blessed by God. He then says that God has prepared him for a very special mission – to preach good news o the poor. He also says that he has been sent to proclaim freedom for prisoners, to help the blind see, and to release the oppressed. Jesus makes it clear that he has come to give hope and freedom to all those people who find themselves subjected to the unfairness of life. That hope is of a time when people will be freed from the situations in which they find themselves, and able to enjoy eternal life with God himself.
We all have times in our life when we feel we are struggling. We might have money problems, or have lost our job. We might be stuck in a job or other scenario that we hate. We might have lost friends or family, or be subject to illness ourselves. We might be at the end of our tether and think that life is not worth living anymore. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, though, Jesus brings us hope – hope of better things to come.