Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

The Holy Spirit – Day 12

The Unity of Holy Spirit

Bible text(s)

The Good News of Deliverance

1The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit.

He has chosen me and sent me

To bring good news to the poor,

To heal the broken-hearted,

To announce release to captives

And freedom to those in prison.

Isaiah 61:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

20Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him, 21as he said to them, “This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.”

Luke 4:20-21GNBOpen in Bible reader

Isaiah is a book filled with evidence of the Holy Spirit in prophecy, poetry, conviction of sin and encouragement to God’s people. Isaiah experienced an unforgettable vision of God which filled him with awe and changed his life. He committed himself willingly and obediently to God’s call: “Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ ” (Isaiah 6:8). God used Isaiah as a prophet to the exiles who had returned from Babylon, but He also gave many promises through him which have been fulfilled in Jesus.

In the text today we read some of the most exciting verses in Isaiah which stand alongside those verses of the prophecy of the Suffering Servant, and Isaiah’s vision of God. They are prophetic verses that allow a dual interpretation pertaining to Isaiah’s times, as well as to the future. Isaiah speaks to the remnant returning from captivity to their devastated homeland, still mourning their losses and despairing of what lies ahead, but the Holy Spirit speaks to those in our generation who may still be trying to escape a more subtle captivity, or are trying to rebuild a broken life. Nevertheless, the beauty of these prophetic words lies in the fact that they are the very words that Jesus uses to announce His mission as the Messiah, words which bring great hope — with the truth that the Holy Spirit is upon Him!

Luke records that this happens when He reads in the synagogue from this scroll of Isaiah at the beginning of His ministry, clearly not coincidence. His is an immense mission: to give the greatest gift of love imaginable to man and He acknowledges that it is in the power of the Holy Spirit that He will do it. It is because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing that from the early days the people recognise the power of His teaching: “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matthew 7:28-29).

He will deliver the good news, that God loves the world and will save it by His grace and mercy from its suffering because of sin, to those who are spiritually poor as well as to the impoverished: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3); to the broken-hearted who grieve over their sin and pride, along with grief over loss: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4); and to the captives and the prisoners, those inside prison and those on the outside who are incarcerated by prejudice, hypocrisy, gossip, greed and hatred: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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