Background Story: Isaiah was a prophet of God who often spoke of the Messiah who was to come.
Read Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Big Idea: God displays His power through the transformed life!
In Luke 4:14-21, Jesus enters the synagogue in Galilee and reads this passage from Isaiah 61 at the Sabbath service. After reading it, verses 20-21 says, “he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
During His ministry, Jesus performed a lot of miracles raising the dead, healing the sick, and casting out demons. But the most amazing miracle happens when Jesus takes a broken person who is chained to sin and spiritually blind and opens their eyes to the truth of the gospel to set them free. But He doesn’t stop there! He not only releases us from the power of sin but He TRANSFORMS us daily into something completely new and usable. We are changed from broken, blind and chained into, “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Nothing shows the truth of the gospel more than a changed life! No persuasive argument or thought provoking word will ever speak louder than a transform life from death to purpose. Want to read an insane transformation story? Check out the AMAZING testimony of Nicky Cruz who spent his teen years as a gang warlord on the streets of New York.
Maybe your testimony isn’t as amazing as Nicky’s but God has given you a story of transformation that can be used to display God’s splendor. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” Today, take a moment to write out your redemption story and pray asking God to use your story to impact others.