The Messenger is the Message
2020 has been an unforgettable year! The far-reaching impact of COVID-19 has certainly led many people to ask the question – “Where is God in all of this?” One’s perspective could easily be that if there is a God, He must have abandoned us this year. There are challenging and unfavourable circumstances being endured around the world because of an invisible, highly contagious virus.
As followers of Christ, we can be assured that the upheaval of 2020 was not a surprise to God. In His Sovereignty, God remains on the throne and patiently continues to pursue the hearts of people, longing that each one would turn to Him and be saved. Imagine the possibility that during the uncertainties of 2020, more people than ever were drawn to the Lord for salvation. From an eternal perspective, this would be an amazing year, with hosts of angels rejoicing in heaven!
In the Gospel of Luke 4, verses 18 – 30, Jesus has returned to his home town of Nazareth after having endured 40 days of fasting and several bouts of temptation by Satan. In his hometown synagogue on the Sabbath, Jesus is asked to read from the Scriptures; he is handed the scroll of Isaiah. He reads the following verses from Isaiah 61:1-2:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
As everyone is amazed, Jesus goes on to say, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
This prophecy by Isaiah had been recorded hundreds of years earlier and now the Messiah himself was asked to read this passage in his own synagogue. Here is Jesus, proclaiming Good News to the people as both the Messenger and the Message, clinched by Jesus saying that this scripture is fulfilled even as they are hearing it read.
Jesus Christ is the Good News for the poor, for the prisoners, for the spiritually blind, for the oppressed – the very incarnation of the Lord’s favour for humanity! Christ is the answer to a troubled soul, to a lost world. Even though 2020 has been a year that most will never forget (but many would like to forget), we can joyfully partner with Christ in proclaiming the Good News of his salvation, his forgiveness, his peace, his perfect unconditional love.
Lord Jesus, please give us seeing eyes, listening ears, softened hearts and gracious words as you present opportunities for us to proclaim your Name. Amen.