In Luke 4:18–19, Jesus stands up in the Temple, unrolls the scroll and reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Upon completion of reading this passage, he rolls up the scroll and says, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) In essence, Jesus announced his mission as a mission of mercy.
Let’s break down Jesus’ mission. The focus of his mission is clear. His mission will be about:
- Bringing good news to the poor
- Proclaiming liberty to captives
- Offering sight to the blind
- Letting free the oppressed
Peeking at the footnote of this passage from Luke, we can see a reference to Isaiah 61:1–2, the prophetic text Jesus read, in which the prophet announces the release of those held in bondage. In the passage from Isaiah, there are two additions to the mission of mercy:
- Binding up the brokenhearted
- Comforting those who mourn
The mission of mercy that Jesus announced over 2,000 years ago is still the mission we are called to be part of today, especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Maybe our bondages look different or the sources of pain are not the same as they were in Jesus’ time, but there are still those around us who are poor, oppressed, brokenhearted, and mourning.
How are we going to take up this mission of mercy this year? What is one thing we can do to further Jesus’ mission of mercy in 2016?
Embrace the call to mercy and encounter Lent through Lenten Moments of Mercy. Learn more.