Isaiah 61: Who Is He Anyway?

Isaiah 61 provides some Messianic prophecy, and the interesting part about that prophecy is that Jesus Himself claimed that almost immediately after He returned from being tempted in the wilderness by the devil.

First, here is a passage from Isaiah.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Isa 61:2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

We can see that these things are evident in the lives of Jesus. He did all of these things, and He especially did them in regards to sin. He had rescued people who were captive from sin.

However, when the people of His time heard Him speak about this, they were a little bit confused.

Luk 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Luk 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

Luk 4:18  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,

Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luk 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luk 4:21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luk 4:22  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

These people had no idea who He was. They were amazed that He was speaking like this because after all, He was just the son of a carpenter who lived down the road. He really was nothing special; He was just a normal guy.

However, He came into the synagogue that day in His hometown and began preaching that prophecy was being fulfilled. Of course, the Jewish people would have understood at this time that this is a Messianic prophecy, and if Jesus was saying that it was fulfilled, the Messiah was here.

How would the carpenter’s son know about this? Could He possibly be referring to Himself? We don’t get any indication that the people automatically realized that He was talking about Himself. They seemed to be more confused than anything.

I think that this is another point where we can see that Jesus claimed to be more than just a great moral teacher. He claimed to be fulfilling prophecy set aside for the Messiah. That is a bold claim, but it seems to be one that Jesus made by implication multiple times during His ministry.

About Zak Schmoll

Zak Schmoll is the founder of Entering the Public Square, and Managing Editor of An Unexpected Journal. He earned his MA in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University and is currently a PhD student in Humanities at Faulkner University. His work has been featured on several websites including The Federalist, Public Discourse and the Fourth World Journal.

Posted on August 1, 2014, in Isaiah and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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