Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel [basar] to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.
When Yeshua (Jesus) went into the synagogue in Nazareth and was handed the scroll of Isaiah to read [Luke 4:18], He opened it to the passage we know of as Isaiah 61, a powerful Messianic proclamation filled with hope and promise and fresh with the joyful good news of His arrival. After reading the passage He immediately declared that it was fulfilled in the hearing of those present. The first response was amazement and wonder that the carpenter’s son was so gracious a communicator. But this did not last, as Yeshua immediately challenged his audience with a prophetic expectation…that they would reject Him, which they immediately did…nevertheless…
The Hebrew word for gospel – basar – not only mean “to preach the good news” – but its root also suggests cheerfulness and freshness or refreshing. The gospel is full of joy! The joy of knowing our sin debt has been paid in full, and that through the resurrection we acquire an unfathomably wonderful eternal life; and the joy of experiencing every moment of our lives, the reality of “Immanuel”, God with us.
Life has its struggles, with disappointment, irritation, persecution, temptations to anger, bitterness, and even despair. Yet, this message and its impact upon us carries the renewing power and deep cheer of Yeshua’s presence. The announcement of the “basar” is fully intended to be refreshed and renewed daily, never to become a dull or half remembered inspiration. By its very nature it brings deliverance, healing, vision, righteousness, and praise, a profoundly fresh, revivifying and transformative message carrying the indefatigable joy of the Holy Spirit.
The gospel of Messiah is not a message that “gets old”; at least it ought never to be. If we simply reconsider it, we discover an eternally fresh message to be received and reignited in our hearts each day. As we contemplate the entirety of what Yeshua did for us, it will never “get old”, but remain ever fresh and invigorating. For He truly did come to bind up the broken hearted, release those who are captive, free those who are bound, and comfort those who mourn…AND to make us Trees of righteousness in this world, living, breathing, refreshing messages of His joy, that He may be glorified!
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