– Henry Neufeld
YHWH God’s Spirit has gotten hold of me.
YHWH has anointed me, to proclaim good news to the oppressed.
He has sent me, To bind up those who are in despair
To announce release to the prisoners, Liberation for the captives. — Isaiah 61:1 (HN)
Just to prove that commentators can be fairly boring, the big controversy about this text seems to be just the “I” is in this verse. But while the arguments can be pretty boring, the answer is very important to you and me.
Here are some of the answers:
1. Isaiah himself
3. Jesus as the Messiah
4. The church
Now some of you may remember your Bible well enough to point out that Jesus quoted these verses with reference to himself in Luke 4:18-21, and you are right to do so. But that’s only part of the answer.
You see the Spirit of the Lord was also on Isaiah. It was God’s desire to pour out his Spirit on Israel so that they could be a light to the nations. But there is another fulfillment of this prophecy in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came on the church at Pentecost. Peter preached from Joel, but he could easily have preached from this passage. God’s Spirit was on him, empowering him to proclaim good news.
At Pentecost, God’s Spirit came on the church, and each one of us, as members of the church, partake in God’s Spirit. We also—and this is important—partake in the mission to spread good news. We are to act on the anointing the Spirit has placed upon us.
There are no second class citizens in God’s kingdom, but there are also no passengers. Nobody is just along for the ride. God’s anointing is not something that you hang out and enjoy. God anoints you to do something.
Think about this: God has chosen you. You are special. You have a special mission.
Is that the way you live?