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 4:16-21
As you read today’s passage, did you catch all the things Jesus came to set right? Our God is in the business of setting us free and restoring all of creation to Himself.
If you have caught yourself thinking that our hope is found in John 3:16 and our eternal life as believers, of course you’re not wrong. But at the same time, you may be settling for a promise that is too small, that addresses only the afterlife of our souls. But the story told throughout the Bible is so much bigger. It’s about a God who appears in the desert places, blesses the poor, and heals the broken. This God didn’t begin His work as Jesus on the cross, He finished it! In that moment Satan was defeated and Jesus’ kingdom began to work its way into our human history.
It is our privilege, as the Church, to be kingdom people. Ours is a faith with legs on, that inserts itself into every corner of brokenness to transform our lives and our world. The kingdom of God points us back to the Garden and our commission as humans to nurture all creation into right relationship with God and each other so we can thrive and flourish.
We’ve been given a map of what it looks like to be God’s people, to restore creation to God: sharing what we’ve been given, seeking righteousness in our hearts and our communities, caring for our neighbors, and seeking justice for the oppressed. Who doesn’t want to live in a world where we treat each other well and our relationships are healed? This is the hope we have. We have the honor of participating in this work as the people of God.
Questions for reflection and discussion: How would you describe God’s salvation? Does it focus only on what happens after death, or does it include good news for the poor, freedom for the prisoner and oppressed, and sight for the blind?