Good news means something new and useful. So, Good news to the poor means a message that brings joy and salvation to those who have hunger for Jesus . So, Good news is a message that is salvific, pleasant, fortunate or otherwise positive.
In Christianity, the Good News is the message of Jesus, the Christ or Messiah. His coming is to bring us salvation and restore our relationship with God.
As we are in the week of Epiphany, every reading is gradually pointing to the mission and personality of Jesus.
Therefore, the reading of today shows what the coming of Jesus means to the poor, the captives, the brokenhearted, blind and the downtrodden.
The Mission of Jesus.
After the temptation of Jesus, Jesus returns to Galilee under the power of the Holy Spirit. When He returned to Galilee, His reputation spread throughout the countryside. Then He went to the synagogue to teach and everyone was happy with Him. When He stood up to read, they handed Him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. Then all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Then Jesus begins to speak to them, that the text He just read to them is being fulfilled today even as they listen to Him.’ because of this, people were happy with Him and He won the approval of His listeners. They become astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips.
Today, through the scriptural text, Jesus reveals what He comes to do for the people. When Jesus concludes that all that the text says finds its fulfilment in Him, it means that this is His mission.
Jesus comes to bring something good to the poor, He comes to save the lost, and make our lives meaningful again. Jesus comes to make us new again.
Therefore, the mission of Jesus is to bring good news to the poor, the lost, the suffering, the abandoned, the captives, the hopeless, the forgotten, distressed and the downtrodden.
It is good news to the poor souls seeking repentance from sins. His coming is good news to the poor souls who are already in bondage. Therefore, only Jesus can give us salvation and no other person can.
His Mission is to become One with Us.
When Jesus came to the synagogue, they gave him the text from Isaiah to read. The good news in Isaiah is about the restoration of Israel after the exile.
This then indicates that God has come to defend His people at last, through the coming of Jesus.
Then, owing to the nature of Luke’s gospel who is always in defence of the poor, it means that the presence of Jesus has come to bring restoration and joy to the suffering. He has come to defend those whom nobody else defends. His presence and words will give life to depressed and broken hearts.
Jesus is here for those families that are struggling to survive, at people dispossessed of their land, at starving children and beggars. He has come to become one with them in their suffering.
Therefore, when we find ourselves in depressing situations, we need to feed our souls with His word to stand firm.
We also need to go to His presence often for the grace to undergo these troublesome situations.
The coming of Jesus is to bring good news to the poor. He comes to bring good news to you. Let us seek Him always for Jesus is the only person that can give us salvation.
The verses that Jesus read from Isaiah are full of symbolism. “The meek” in Isaiah 61:1 are “the poor” in Luke 4:18.
Therefore, when Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”, and “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” Jesus is referring to the same group of people.
The “poor” here is not merely penniless, but those who break their will to accept the message of salvation.
The captives are not merely convicted criminals but the people seeking liberation from the shackles of sin. They are the people who hear the word and plead for mercy. We were captives of sin and Satan before we became saved.
The blind or the sightless is not merely the physically blind, but the spiritually blind and those who are yet to encounter God.
The broken-hearted are not merely the depressed, but those whose hearts are broken for God. They have broken themselves, to allow God to take control of their lives.
Before we become saved, God has to break our will so that we come broken in the heart before God. Filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has come to free us from sin and satanic bondage. This happens when we break our will and allow Jesus to take control of our lives.
When Jesus takes His Rightful Position.
When Jesus enters the synagogue today, He was given His rightful position. They gave Him the chance to teach the people and explain His identity to them.
Therefore, when we open our hearts and give Jesus His rightful position in our lives, He will always be there to inspire and guide us.
What Jesus needs from us is a little permission. We have to open our hearts to Him.
Therefore, let us give Jesus His rightful position beloved and give Him a little chance as He did in the Synagogue.
Let Jesus occupy your heart and direct everything that you do.
Therefore, may Jesus bring good news to poor souls, who seek Him day and night. May He lead you dearest, and take control of all you do today. Amen.