Vision is a crucial element to life. Having a vision will do three things for your life or organization:
- Provides direction. It’s a road map that allows you to live each day with purpose and gives you a target to aim for.
- Develops discernment. You can confidently say yes or no to opportunities that don’t contribute to your end-goal.
- Creates unity. Whether it’s your marriage or your team at work, everyone becomes unified as they participate in a common pursuit.
In Isaiah 61, Isaiah delivers a message from God regarding the future, detailing the characteristics/activities of the promised Messiah. This prophecy finds its fulfillment in Luke 4:20-21.
Isaiah details four characteristics of Jesus’ life, 700 years before He was born, which the Gospels confirm and testify, and we will divide into two categories.
#1 Bind up the brokenhearted, liberate the captives and free those in prison.
The phrase “bind up” in the original language means to saddle, bandage, or govern. The word brokenhearted means break into pieces, crushed.
This was the primary purpose of Jesus’ ministry. He did not come to lead a political revolution but to bandage up and restore those whose lives have been shattered and crushed.
Yet why do many Christians hold onto an offense, hurt, or trauma from the past, when God has come to bind up the brokenhearted? One reason this happens is that we don’t give it to God.
God will not take from you but will restore and transform everything you give to Him. In some cases, this is a process, but it will always lead to restoration.
There is hope beyond your hurt!
During Jesus’ day, faith in God was reduced to following a set of rules that was nearly impossible to do. The religious leaders of the day created rules for every aspect of life, which is why the Apostle Paul,
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
We exchange all our brokenness, our self-righteousness, and pride, and we gain righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. This is a gift from God, and nothing in this world can’t keep us from receiving this, but we can surrender it.
#2 Jesus’ coming initiates “the year of God’s favor.”
We are living in the days of God’s favor. Right now! Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection satisfied God’s requirement, and we are living in a dispensation of grace.
“17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:17-18
God’s grace is all over this world. God has an immeasurable amount of patience, grace, and mercy, even for people we don’t think deserve it.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
God does not have two lists in heaven; those He wants to spend eternity with and those He does not.
He accepts confessions of faith from thieves on a cross, who are taking their last breath. He is holding out until the very last second for people to repent.
That’s why vengeance and judgment belong to God alone. We condemn others way faster than He ever would.
There are no prerequisites to God’s love or forgiveness. Yet Isaiah and John both said, rejection of God’s forgiveness will become a day of vengeance for those who approach God attempting to pay their sin debt on their own merits.
Sin is one debt you are incapable of paying off.
Now let’s bring this home and draw a connection between Jesus’ vision and us. Before His crucifixion and return to heaven, Jesus prayed, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
He authorized His followers to carry on His vision. In John 16:7, He tells the disciples that He is sending them a Helper. The Helper is the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, you are anointed to continue building the kingdom of God. Romans 8:11 says the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of us.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Romans 10:14
You are that one.
Let’s carry on the vision Jesus began and share hope with those around us as He leads.