Columnist: Pastor’s Pen
We live in a world today where our televisions screens, newspapers and radios seem to bring us nothing but bad news - whether at home or internationally, writes Campbell Dixon.
Jesus told the people that to some people his purpose in life was: ‘To bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ Luke 4:17. We can be sure that this ‘good news’ struck a chord with his listeners that included; people who were very poor, people who longed to be released from their foreign overlords, those who oppressed and persecuted them. How they must have hung on to his words! And yet, many of his listeners did not latch on to what he was really saying – indeed, some, mainly religious leaders, actually violently opposed what he was saying! Other people longed for a messiah figure that would lead a revolution to meet their political yearnings, not realising that God, through the teaching and example of His son, wanted a different revolution, a revolution to change their hearts, to lead them back to himself. And so, today, it is still the poor, whether poor in substance or spirit; the broken hearted (those who are broken by the circumstances of their life, no matter what those circumstances might be); those imprisoned by sin, (whether rich or poor, great or small), that the message so long ago is still relevant, is still true, and is the reason why Jesus came into this world. Phillip Doddridge put it this way: ‘He comes the broken heart to bind, the wounded soul to cure and, with the treasures of his grace, to enrich the humble poor.’ That’s good news for a world that, despite its prosperity, and with so much seemingly to offer, is nevertheless seeking something solid and dependable to hold on to. And, lastly, God does not wave a magic wand to remove our trials and tribulations but rather promises to be with us, to strengthen us and to comfort us, as we go through them. We are reminded in Isaiah 43; God said, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; Hold onto those promises, lean hard on them, believe them and prove them to be true.
So Jesus started his ministry here on earth with a message of salvation, of hope and of encouragement. His message is still ‘good news’ and as relevant today.
*This week’s Pastor’s Pen column is written by Campbell Dixon.
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