Monday, January 28, 2013

"He has anointed me"

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…” (Luke 4:18) From just this one sentence from the Book of Luke, Jesus speaks with great clarity about who he is and what his ministry is all about.

Jesus immediately tells us that he is God's Prophet - His spokesman and exemplar. This central role is often overlooked by modern Christians. Just as King David had been anointed with oil, and the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures were anointed to bring a message to the people of Israel, Jesus is anointed – chosen and set apart – by God, Whose spirit comes upon him at his baptism at the hand of John the Baptist.

At that event, God spoke to Jesus saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) An early variant reading has, “You are my Son, this day I have begotten you,” which was taken from the Psalms, and makes clear his adoption at this moment as God’s Son and most important Spokesman.

The Spirit of God came upon Jesus BECAUSE he was anointed to preach this Good and Beneficial Message – “anointing” in Greek being “Christos,” the word from which we derive his title, “Christ.”

Jesus speaks not only to ancient Judea, telling them to repent and to honor their forefathers' religion by living it more purely, but also speaks BEYOND them to the entire world. His disciples are told to be a light to the entire world, and to salt the earth with goodness. He especially singles out the poor, saying that we should serve them and have compassion on them.

Jesus doesn't just preach this message, he lives his life daily as a perfect example of living for God, our Father, that we (those who claim to follow him) are repeatedly commanded to follow, seeking forgiveness when we fall short of this incredible, perfect example God wishes us to emulate in all things.

This is the Prophet who called Israel – and through them, us all – back to their Prophets through prophetic teaching, and who was misunderstood, questioned by religious leaders of his day, and killed by those who opposed the reformation and purification of their faith that he offered them. 

He called Twelve disciples (these, and no more, into that inner circle) and they called him “Master.” If we call him Master today, we are to do his will and treat his teachings as eternal and as given through him directly from God Himself. 

Scripture Cited:

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of GOD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the Good and Beneficial Message [Gospel] to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of GOD. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the rabbi, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, Today is this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21

“After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. You are my Son, this day I have begotten you.” Luke 3:21-22

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:29-30

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