Worthless Religion
The Heart of a Leader

"...To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

image from thehumanjesus.org

The Anointed One

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” - Luke 4:18-19

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: …” Acts 10:38

To be anointed is to be a messiah. To be a messiah means to be anointed. Kings were anointed in Old Testament times. Saul was anointed as was David. The prophets told of an anointed one who would be the ultimate Messiah of Israel.

Jesus came as King, but, in Him, Messiah meant much more. Kings can be benevolent or malevolent. They can carry a concern for the larger family of humanity or be entirely parochial in their concern. They can lean toward violence or toward peace.

Jesus would first be a servant and a savior. His anointing was as redeemer, liberator, healer, and announcer of good news. His message would be, first, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but that was merely to set the stage for something larger and more universal.

The Spirit of God upon the one who had emptied himself, was the source of his power. He is the King who humbles himself in obedience.

He is the Master who serves.

He is the Lord who liberates.

He is the Anointed One of God.

Jesus is Messiah, to the Christian, God’s anointed. The word “Christ” in “Christian” means Messiah in Greek.

The name speaks of his character, his calling, and his mission and has implications for who we become as we align with Him.

In Nazareth, his hometown, Jesus takes up the mantle of a revolutionary liberator but refuses to use violence or coercion to accomplish his righteous ends. He wears the garb of a radical populist but refuses to be swayed by the fickle politics of His times.

He is, from beginning to end, God’s Anointed on God’s mission using God’s means and bringing God’s message.

And the truth is that God cares about the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind, the bruised, and those so heavily in debt to life and sin that only a Year of Jubilee (the acceptable year of the Lord) will free them.

We must take these words somewhat literally and apply them at a higher level. When he speaks in the synagogue, he is talking about those who are oppressed in this world, but he elevates the meaning to include all of us who are bound by sin and absorbed by the constrictive cares of this dark world.

He includes the people who were excluded from the family of ancient Judaism and holds them up as examples of faith.

For that, people who were cheering him on, suddenly want to stone him for his offense.

They had begun to define themselves by comparing themselves to a common enemy. Jesus was ripping that from them. Anger burns when our sense of supremacy or normalcy is threatened.

One of the implications of the larger context of this story is that we must deal with Jesus. We cannot consign Him to a benign manger and silent angelic scenery. He is the backdrop to no landscape. He is the ONE anointed by God as the agent of reconciliation and redemption. Avoid Him and avoid life.

Jesus, Messiah, I need Your liberating power in my life today.