A variety of people in Jesus' Mission StatementVisiting with his disciples in Nazareth, the town where he grew up, Jesus went to teach in their synagogue and he read about the Messiah from the Book of Isaiah, closing his reading with the words "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
He proclaimed that the Spirit of the Lord anointed (or ordained) him to:
proclaim the good news (the Gospel) to the poor;
proclaim freedom to prisoners;
proclaim the recovery of sight to the blind;
proclaim that the day has come to set the oppressed free,
proclaiming the year (time or period) of the Lord's favour.
These groups represent all of humanity and proclaim -- i.e. saying with divine authority -- that all and everyone need our Lord's love, and all are loved by God and his Messiah, Jesus our Saviour.
It does not matter whether we see that the people we serve with the Gospel of Christ as poor, incarcerated, disabled or oppressed in any possible way we can think of -- we can and should with confidence and authority assure them of God's love for them. It is that practical divine love which is not primarily a feeling, but an action, intervening in and changing circumstances, in order to receive and experience the new era of the Lord's favour that Jesus brought about. This intervention of God, announced by prophets a long time ago, had begun.
On that day -- during his ministry on earth -- Jesus had had started the outreach of God that made it possible for all to be loved, cared for and redeemed by God's salvation.
It is proclaimed. It is official and final and it is announced personally by Messiah Jesus.
There can be no favouritism in our quest to reach the world with the Gospel of God's love for them. No single person, or group of people, can be a less significant priority than others. Our mission plan is not determined by our preferences and who we are cannot establish the priorities of our outreach.
In a world desperate for comfort, freedom, recognition and salvation we follow our Lord in his anointed calling to accomplish what he, Christ Jesus, made possible.
We are impartial. We are determined. We spread the message of God's love to all.
We, his people, have been ordained to share God's love. We are, like Jesus, called to know nothing but God's unfailing care in healing the world and practically curing everyone according to their individual needs and circumstances, with the awesome love of God in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
|"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, 19
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." (Luke4:18-19)
Andries Combrink is a minister emeritus of the UPCSA, living in Centurion, married to Marthie, father of three and granddad to a lovely teenage girl. He serves the Lord directing a 15 000 views per week worldwide internet portal for protestant church leaders called "Pastoral"