Luke 4:18-19 – “18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
This passage was a Messianic prophecy, an expectation proclaimed by the inspired prophet Isaiah. Jesus applied it to himself and his mission. The reasons he gives for his coming are glorious and they all strike a chord with the human heart. Have we not all been in need of good news? Have we not all been brokenhearted, been blind to many things, been bruised and bleeding? Have we not all been held captive in some way or another by the thrall of sin and Satan? Who could not be touched by the longing that the mission of the Lord evokes in the human heart?
Most of us have never been physically held captive. Recently, we were fascinated by the story of Jessica Lynch, the young woman who was taken captive in Iraq. My generation was equally fascinated by the stories of the captives from the war in Vietnam. John McCain, now a senator, was held as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi “Hilton” for nearly seven years if my memory serves me correctly. I remember when the prisoners of war came home from Vietnam – the photographs of the reunions were emotional and striking.
But we have all been held captive by one captor: Satan. From the moment we first took on human flesh and sin-guilt, we were his prisoners. In Jesus’ statement, he is proclaiming war on Satan, giving him notice of his intent to break into the dungeon of despair, guilt and depravity that has held us in – and to give us back our freedom.
But what of the enemy himself? Well, Isaiah had something to say about the outcome of the enemy, too, in Isaiah 14:16-17. When we struggle so mightily, get down and discouraged thinking that we are still lost and hopeless, we would do well to remind ourselves of why Jesus came (to free us) and to what will happen to our enemy: “16 Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17 the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”
The day will come when the all will see Jesus and every knee will bow in respect and admiration. The enemy? He’ll bow, too. But all who see the enemy will wag their tongues and seeing his fate, will wonder why he ever was so feared. Compared to God and His Son, Satan will seem incredibly small and insignificant.
Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>