“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because He has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor’
Jesus took the scroll of the book of Isaiah, opened it to this exact spot and began to read aloud in the Temple. Looking back, I have to wonder if Jesus the son of man recalled these words that Jesus the Son of God had spoken into the ear of Isaiah some 600 years earlier. Wow, what an amazing event that Jesus the Son of God would have instructed the prophet to record these words 600 years in the past so that Jesus the son of man could launch them into the Earth at this very moment in time. In terms of human perception, it was as if Jesus the Son of God left a time capsule for Jesus the son of man. A mission was contained in that time capsule; a charge from Heaven.
I can imagine in that moment, after the Son of God spoke those words into the ear of Isaiah, He might have paused, gazed into the future and said to himself, ”a letter, from me…to me”.
This is among the most significant passages in the entire Bible. The prophecy tells plainly the purpose and intent for the coming of Messiah. This watershed moment in the great temple at Jerusalem was certainly not what the ruling class of Jews was expecting nor would we have expected it had we been in their shoes. To say that this was shocking would be a colossal understatement. The spoken words did not merely come out of Jesus’ mouth. Before the eyes of those who were witnesses these very words became life as Jesus spoke them. As he spoke, the words literally happened. In a fleeting instant of divine clarity these ruling class clerics saw and instantaneously understood what God was really doing…and they were utterly petrified with fear. In a moment suspended in time these men were granted an unanticipated, and as it turned out an absolutely unwelcome glimpse into the mind of God; a look-see at what Jehovah had planned not only for the Hebrew people but for the whole of the human race.
This divine revelation came with all sorts of unsolicited, unwelcome, and undesirable attachments. It seems these men discovered that to look into the mind of the God results in a bit more than just intellectual validation, more than just knowledge that can be used to gain social status. As is always the case with the ultra pious these men were just looking for more knowledge with which they might gain more political leverage. Religion has always feigned a sincere desire to look into the mind of God but it never anticipated anything like this. The scripture that says eye has not seen, ear has not heard and neither has it entered into the heart of man came rushing in like a tsunami on this day. This brief glimpse into the mind of God absolutely scared them nearly to death. Truth is, those two elements are pretty much all that religion has ever really sought after; intellectual validation and social status. What these men could not possibly anticipate was that God has absolutely zero interest in either our intellectual validation or our social status.
This was merely the first of many such moments when men had to decide what they would do with this Jesus of Nazareth. It isn’t that the ruling class Jews did not believe. Of course they believed because they knew what they heard was truth. The decision at hand was not about believing. It was about faith. This was their moment of truth so pause right here and consider their choice. Would their faith embrace this truth or would their rational minds choose what their social status and career paths demanded?
They made their choice and at last the terrifying moment passed allowing them to return to their rational, carnal thoughts. Back in their world it was immediately all too clear. This Jesus guy from Nazareth was positively unacceptable as the candidate for Messiah. Are you kidding? Obviously he met none of their qualifications. And the fact that he apparently met all of God’s criteria simply could not be considered just now. From their perspective God’s timing could not have been worse. Please, a more rational and prudent political decision must and would be made here.
Now, again pause and think about it. In their arrogance the people of God in as much decided that God could no longer think for himself. After all, Jehovah God had always needed humans to decipher his prophecies. One of two conditions was now at hand. Either God, at such an advanced age, must have had a senior moment in interpreting his own prophecy, or the Sanhedrin decided that God would not be allowed to speak through anyone outside their own council. Jesus of Nazareth simply could not be allowed…to be the one they feared him to be. Understand that this group of men was gifted in spiritual matters. They understood precisely what accepting Jesus as Messiah would mean.
The Jews knew that the 1st Adam must be replaced by the 2nd Adam who would be the Messiah. Yes of course God had prophesied all of this but there is no way He could possibly do it like this. They knew it would mean accepting that the God of Heaven had already assumed a human form and He did it today! Yes they knew that was supposed to happen but…not now! Oh good grief, this was a disaster! God must be out of his flipping mind! How could He possibly choose some guy named Jesus from that bunch of Wal-Mart shopping, mouth-breathers in Nazareth! Are you joking? How embarrassing. Can’t you see that what we really want is validation from the rich and powerful in Rome!
Reality Snapshot: At this point in history God’s chosen people are merely common slaves to the mighty Roman Empire. The fact that they could possibly show arrogance in any form at this juncture in history is just simply pathetic.
Now, from God’s perspective, after 4,000 years He finally answers the prayers of his chosen people only to find out that his people have decided that his answer isn’t acceptable. Yes, that’s right, they’re just not feeling it God. The Romans are standing on the necks of the Hebrews and God’s answer just doesn’t do it for them?
Be that as it may, this depraved arrogance; this rejection by a few would not turn God’s heart to anger. Jesus read on in the Temple and spoke out his intent to bring something back to this Earth that had been missing for 4 millennia. And what was this missing element that God was now bringing back to Humanity? Whatever it was, humanity certainly could not see it.
Jesus said “the spirit of the Lord God is upon me; empowering and enabling me, because He (the Lord Jehovah God) has anointed (consecrated and authorized) me to tell the good news to the poor”.
Who are “the poor” that Jesus was speaking of?
Poor is the most destitute of all human conditions. It entails much more than simply the absence of material possessions. When Jesus referred to “the poor” He was speaking of every human being born into this world. “The Poor” is a poignant telling of the condition of the entire human race in that mankind as a species had finally achieved total and complete depravity. The fall that had occurred in Eden had finally struck bottom. The hideous condition of humanity could get no worse. It could only become more wide spread as humans began to educate themselves so that they may yet discover how to live longer in their depravity.
Mankind was at this point without hope; hopeless.
There is nothing left in a man who is without hope. Hopelessness can only be compared to a living death. It takes with it every last ounce of everything until only the blackness of nothing remains. I had always thought that fear was Satan’s greatest weapon. However, I was wrong. Fear is certainly a powerful enemy and in its ultimate form is a never ending circle of torment that will ultimately siphon the life from a person. However, like the darkness, fear tends to wax and wane with the passing of daylight hours. Fear tends to come and go with the rising and setting of the Sun and is stronger in the darkness.
I think there is an evil force that is greater than fear. A force that is as blind in the light as it is in the darkness and this is the power of Hopelessness. It is the very brain child of Lucifer and his greatest achievement. I believe that it is the ultimate state of evil that takes form as Satan’s 2nd in command. I believe it is the final ruler that Lucifer himself dispatches to govern over conquered nations.
To live helplessly and hopelessly under the boot heel of Satan’s highest and most powerful prince; that’s what it is to be “the poor” that Jesus spoke of in Isaiah 61. And every last one of us was included in that census. After the fall of Man in the Garden of Eden and before the coming of Messiah to this Earth, a thousand generations of men lived under the unrestrained power of Satan on this planet. As there was nothing to restrain or deter him anything that he could imagine he did. The power of Hopelessness had become so great that it had evolved the ability to funnel its own essence and sustain itself in the form of living death.
Hopelessness had become so exquisitely refined, so powerful that only the very life essence of God himself could break its death hold on humanity.
God could do no less than to once again clone him self in human form and walk the curse back to its living source. He must take on the form of living flesh, place his own hands around the throat of evil and push back the tide with the force of his own will and the strength of his own power but that was yet to come.
For now Lucifer’s plan was perfect. He had done all that his heart had imagined to this point and the Earth was his. The Earth was the kingpin in his eternal struggle to over throw first the Kingdom of Heaven and then ultimately the Kingdom of God.
He had successfully thrust the Kingdom of Heaven into a state of upheaval and chaos and he was confident he could sustain that indefinitely.
He was now focusing his efforts on Earth and more specifically Humans. After experimenting on countless generations of humans he had refined his strategy.
He had abandoned the notion of directly destroying them all. Although the generations of giants and other creatures that he had manipulated were quite effective at destroying humans these methods proved to require too much resource effort. Plus, it seemed as though God always managed to find at least one or two individual humans in a given generation who succeeded in building some measure of revolt against him and this was just enough to offset his complete success.
Over this most recent millennium Lucifer had refined his strategy. Now, at last through careful manipulative appealing to the 5 physical senses in Humans he had succeeded in all but driving out the very thought of God from the minds of Men. He had succeeded in blinding Men to the degree that they no longer even recognized God when they saw him.
So far as Humanity was concerned, Lucifer had diminished God in the Earth. For all practical purposes God was no longer God to the generations of Men.
What is the good news?
The good news that Jesus brought to this Earth and announced to Satan is this: “I am the source and the very essence of life. Where hopelessness is living death, I am living hope. The immeasurable and uncontainable force of my life is so great that no amount of hopelessness can diminish it. In fact, compared to Hopelessness the force of my life is so powerful that I had to be dead (with one arm tied behind my back) for it to even appear to be a fair fight. Well, actually it was never going to be a fair fight…not…ever.”
Even while I was dead I was still able to step through the thick armored skin of hopelessness, grab it by its living self, draw it inside out and force feed my own life essence back down its gasping throat while it huddled quivering before me. All the while Hopelessness was screaming in agony, ‘Why is this happening to me? I do not understand this! I am a Prince!’ “
“Lucifer, the father of Hopelessness, could only watch, paralyzed on the throne of Hell while the life essence of his love child dripped through my powerful fingers and pooled up on the floor at the foot of his throne. Just before I led the captives out we joined together in a rousing chorus of Bronx cheers and thigh-slapping horse laughs as we all watched Lucifer’s lips quivering in utter embarrassment and total defeat. It seems I had just choke-slammed his love child; the once glorious Prince of Hopelessness…oops, sorry Lu (snarf), I think I just killed your son and oh, he won’t make it back after 3 days…or ever.”
“See ya…real soon”