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Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 05 January 2017

JESUS BRINGS GOOD NEWS

By Jim Jordal

 The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of Jehovah's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that he may be glorified.                            Isaiah 61:1-3 ASV

In these three Bible verses uttered about 700 years before the Advent, the prophet Isaiah predicts for all eternity what is the God-given mission of the Jesus who is to come.

In fulfillment of his Divine mission, Jesus will:

   1. “Preach good tidings to the meek,” often translated as the “poor.”

   2. “Bind up the brokenhearted.”

   3. “Proclaim liberty to the captives.”

   4. “Proclaim the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

   5. “Proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God.”

   6. “Comfort all that mourn.”

In case you’re worried, the “advent” of Donald Trump will not and cannot change the will of Almighty God. So why all the excitement and open fear among the media and even the most powerful of citizens? And why all the dread even among Christians who ought to know better? Donald Trump can do nothing unless the Lord allows him the power and influence to do so. So instead of becoming paralyzed by fear, let’s begin to ask, not what is Donald Trump doing, but why and to what end? And, believe me, God has very good reasons for everything he does.

It is time for the blessings of deliverance listed above to begin happening, not only with individuals, but with nations. But when someone openly suggests that we take action on some of these good and necessary ideas from God’s list it’s too often resisted by entrenched political authority with the words, “That’s too radical for common people,” or “It will cost too much.” And equally sad is the prospect that religious authorities will often claim the clear word of God to be too extreme or too upsetting to receive serious consideration.

And so we labor onward, with gospel limited only to receptive individuals and denied to nations. We push the great things promised here on earth into heaven, and relegate those blessings intended to have literal fulfilment here on earth into the ethereal and elusive spiritual realm.

But the kingdom blessings listed above are real, not ethereal; are for this earth rather than heaven; and apply to nations as well as individuals. So let’s look at just one, the promise that Jesus will preach good tidings, or gospel, to the meek, or poor. This one often draws the refutation that it could not possibly mean the literally poor in earthly goods and money because Scripture quotes even Jesus as saying “the poor you have always with you,” and besides, “they are poor because of their own flawed behavior.” So the power of this promise becomes lost in the spiritualization of its meaning into merely the poor in spirit---not the poor in this world’s goods--- who will profit from the gospel.

The beauty of gospel or good news is that it is universal in scope, application, and outcome. As Scripture proclaims, God’s word will do what it was sent to do because it was paid for at Calvary and is irrevocable in the Divine plan. When God seems to act counter to his word, it is usually because he has become so disgusted with our wayward sinful behavior that he decides to punish us. But always lurking above the struggle are the immortal words, “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).