April 17, 2020
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19 NIV).
You can’t read through the Gospels without seeing how much Jesus cared about hurting people.
Just look at how he preached. He always started with a hurt—poverty, blindness, brokenness, imprisonment. You can tell a lot about a preacher by how he addresses pain.
Jesus addresses it constantly. Why? Because he came to share the Good News with hurting people.
When people approached Jesus, they always came for one of three reasons: a need, a hurt, or a question. Jesus didn’t blow them off. He never told them they should’ve come for more doctrinally correct reasons. He just met their needs.
In fact, he declared in his very first sermon, as he started his public ministry, that’s why he came to earth.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19 NIV).
Notice the last line of that Scripture: “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” It’s easy to miss, but it’s critically important to understand God’s heart for hurting people.
When God created the nation of Israel, he established the “year of the Lord’s favor,” which is also called the “Year of Jubilee.”
It was a year when every debt would be canceled, every prisoner would be let go, every slave would be freed, and all land that had been bought in the previous 50 years would revert back to its original owner.
But here’s the interesting part about the Year of Jubilee. In the entire history of Israel, the children of Israel never followed it—not once.
This angered God. In the book of Jeremiah, God told Israel he was sending the whole nation into captivity because the people hadn’t obeyed this. While they were in captivity, Isaiah wrote the words above that Jesus preached in his first sermon.
So as Jesus read Isaiah’s words in the synagogue of his hometown, he was boldly proclaiming this: “I’m the Day of Jubilee when everyone’s sin and debts are wiped out.”
Jesus came to help hurting people—whether they’re in debt, in bondage to sin, imprisoned, or all three.
Those same broken people God came to heal 2,000 years ago are still here today. And Jesus wants us to serve them.
Jesus says, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:15 NLT).
Are you following Jesus’ example? What can you do today to help the hurting people in your life?