Years after being raised in a religious atmosphere, which is not the same as a godly atmosphere, I finally learned that, as God’s child, He delights in me! And here all that time I had been subconsciously thinking that somehow I had to continue to work for His approval. I knew I was saved by grace, but I was trying to be kept in His grace by my works, which totally does not make sense.
Near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He took the scroll on the Sabbath day and read from this passage in Isaiah:
“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;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV
If you read this passage in Luke 4:16-21, you will see that Jesus stopped reading after “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” and said,
“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
They all understood that He was claiming to be the fulfillment of that prophecy.
The Hebrew word for “favor” here means “delight, especially as shown” which comes from a root meaning “to be pleased with, specifically to satisfy a debt”. (Strong’s Concordance)
The figurative sense of the Greek word for “favor” in Luke 4:19 means “propitious” which means “favorably inclined; disposed to bestow favors or forgive:” (Strong’s Concordance and Dictionary.com)
So, Jesus was claiming to be this One sent by God the Father to proclaim God’s delight in the people He has created and His pleasure in them, to the point of being willing to satisfy their sin debt and to forgive their sin and show them good will!
The wonderful thing is that His favor did not stop at the cross; instead, it was actually extended to this very day in which we live! We are still living in the “year of the Lord’s favor”!
I have wondered before why Jesus stopped reading there. I thought the vengeance spoken of in Isaiah 61:2 must be talking about some time in the future.
But in Sunday’s sermon our pastor explained that the vengeance of our God for our sins was poured out on Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
Jesus took God’s vengeance for our sin in our place at the cross!
That is why the only vengeance left is for those who reject His substitutionary gift.
Those who have received such a wonderful gift have every reason to be filled with great joy! But I’ll talk about that in the next post.
Today, I am thankful that it is still the year of the Lord’s favor! I’m thankful that He delights in us enough to offer us forgiveness! I’m thankful that He shows His goodwill to all who will accept the propitious gift that He offers us! 🙂
What about you? Have you accepted the Lord’s gift of favor, forgiveness, and good will through Christ’s sacrifice for you? Are you thankful for this gift?