Jesus understood his own call by reading the Old Testament, particularly Isaiah. This passage is what he providentially reads when invited to do so in the temple at the outset of his public ministry in Luke 4. It is quite an amazing call.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor… (Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV)
We like to summarize the work of Jesus as living a perfect life and dying for our sin in order to satisfy God’s justice. While this is true, it is not the only way of seeing Jesus’ work. This is Paul’s forensic description of it. Isaiah explains the affect of sin upon the people, leaving them poor, brokenhearted, bound and held captive. Jesus work from this perspective is one that creates in us great longing and anticipation, something that we don’t always see when it comes to sin. Part of God’s salvation too must be to show us this about our sin. We are a people otherwise that have grown attached to our captor.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Jos 1, Ps 120-122, Is 61, Mt 9