How do we reach out with the Gospel? It is a question that many really struggle with in their faith. Fear keeps us from accepting God’s call to speak. Yet, we can do best if we are just following in the footsteps of Jesus. We must learn what His mission was. We must truly take that mission to heart. This means believing it to be true for ourselves first of all. Then taking it to the world around us. What exactly did Jesus come to do in His ministry?
To know what Jesus did you have to read Luke 4:14-30, but focus upon verse 18 & 19. The two central verses come from Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus read these two verses to His home town leaders, and then said it was fulfilled that day in Him. He offended their tradition by showing how God’s blessings have always been for all people, and that He had come for all people not just the Jewish faithful. However, what we can learn most for our journey in Christian faith is the mission He gave in those two verses.
Luke 4:18-19 :
Lk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
Lk 4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (NIV)
There are six elements that make up the mission of Christ found in this Scripture. If you want to see the early believers use of these elements read Matthew 10:1-20. When Jesus sent out the early believers He gave in that address aspects of the five elements of His mission. So, what are those elements we can learn to follow from the Master?
1) Preaching to the poor
2) Proclaiming freedom to captives
3) Opening the eyes of the Blind
4) Healing the sick
5) Releasing the oppressed
6) Proclaiming the kingdom and God’s Blessing
First, Preaching to the Poor is mentioned. This is not merely a reference to the poor by the standard of the world. In His address known as the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus opens by saying ““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3 NIV) This reference is to the spiritually poor. This is who Jesus came to preach to. Those who are spiritually bankrupt. With out the message of salvation and hope they are destined to die in sin. They are spiritually separate from the blessings of God and need to be brought to knowledge of God’s grace and love. We as believers must be telling others of the love God has for them, so they too can be free of sins draining power.
He came to proclaim freedom to the captive. Many would say they are free to do whatever they want in life. The reality is that those in sin are captive to their sin. They are stuck where they are and can not be released. They can’t change their heart, or the destiny of their soul for an eternity in Hell. Only Jesus could pay a price to release us from this bondage and free us to have real life for eternity. Jesus came to tell that message to those bound in sins hold. We Christians today have the same role. We must be telling people that they do not have to stay where they are, but that there is hope in Jesus Christ to be free. We must tell them of the freedom to live eternally.
Next we see that Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind. This element has two indications the first we see in the opening of the eyes. The spiritually blind person can not see the hope of Christ. The spiritually blind person sees the bad and sinful world around them, and feels powerless to find a hope. When we witness to them they can not understand what we say. When they pick up God’s word it seems like a forgeion language to them. Christ came that our eyes could be open and understand Godly things. In Christ the Holy Spirit comes and opens the eye of the mind to understand Godly things. We must pray that the blinders of those still lost in spiritual blindness will be lifted. We must not stop trying to help them understand the message of hope we have found in Jesus.
The next element of Jesus ministry can be seen in opening the eye of the blind as well. He came to physically touch the lives around Him in healing. The signs and wonders of Jesus and the early church were not the message of the gospel, but attracted people to hear the message. It created an interest to make people want to know more. It also met the physical needs of the person. In all of the history of the church universal miracles and wonders have continued to do the same thing. In today’s world we can interpret this for our mission in praying for God’s power to work, and in meeting the needs of people around us. Sometimes this may come in a miracle, while other times it will come in our getting physically involved to work in meeting the needs of another person. Sometimes we have to sweat a little to help meet the need of the person, so they can hear the message of God’s grace.
Jesus also came to release the oppressed in life. Oppressed people are held down by Satan. They can even be believers, yet held down from feeling or living in the blessings God intends for them. Spiritual Oppression is a strong hold of the Devil on anyone’s life. Jesus came and released many people who were possessed. He also came to release the masses from oppression that came under the Law and the leaders of their time who were keeping freedom in God at a far reach. The law pointed out sin, while Jesus pointed to living free of sin. Today many people remain in states of depression to their past or present condition. Many Christians remain defeated daily in their walk with Christ, because they have not let Jesus deal with Spiritual Opression. He came to release us, and in prayer we can be released. We also have the power as believers to pray for the release of others. God wants us free of Satan’s hold, so lets help proclaim this freedom to our world.
Finally, Jesus came to Proclaim the Kingdom. It was the goal of all He came to do, that everyone would come to the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom starts the moment we believe and are part of the family of God. It comes to completion in our eternal home in Heaven. We as faithful believers should tell others of such great hope we have and our eternal destiny.
I would challenge you to ask God how you can better carry out this Christian mission, and proclaim His loving Kingdom to the world. Then take steps to begin to share with your world, of what God has done for you.
— Keep on Your Journey