The Place Where Hopelessness Becomes Blessedness – Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” The message of deliverance and salvation for the marginalized that is expressed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11) is also expressed in Isaiah 61 and other Old Testament writings. Jesus inaugurated His own ministry in Luke 4:16ff by reciting this passage from Isaiah. In the Beatitudes Jesus spoke the same message of hope in the deliverance and salvation of the Lord for the dispossessed as proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets and patriarchs. However, Jesus proclaimed that all the Old Testament promises of blessedness for the desperate and hopeless found fulfillment and accomplishment in Him and His Kingdom. In Jesus, what was formerly distant or out of reach to humanity, became close, accessible, and available to every individual human being. Jesus lowered the standard for admission to His Kingdom to the level of human need. Now, we who are the formerly hopeless of this world are the blessed ones of God’s Kingdom!

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