For Those Who Proclaim Good News

KEY VERSE: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” —Isaiah 61:1, New International Version

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 60:1-4; 61:1-4

WHEN JESUS AROSE in the synagogue at his hometown of Nazareth, he read aloud the words of our Key Text from the scroll of Isaiah. (Luke 4:18) He had been immersed by John the Baptist in the waters of Jordan, and had recently returned from the desert where he was tempted by the Adversary. This prophecy concerned his own commission to preach the Gospel of his future kingdom, but he stopped short of reading the whole passage.

When he had read the first half of the prophecy, Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, sat down, and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:20,21, NIV) It was fulfilled in him at that time because he had the witness of the Spirit as declared by Isaiah, and was about to testify to the people the message of the kingdom. The remainder of the prophecy was not to be fulfilled until the end of the Gospel Age.

The Day of Vengeance was not part of his First Advent message, nor was it the time to comfort all that mourn, to provide for those who grieve in Zion, to give unto the people beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for the mourners, nor the garment of praise for those who were in heaviness of spirit. Now, in our generation, at his Second Advent, this part of the prophecy is being announced.

Our Lord came at his First Advent to suffer and die, and to give his life as a corresponding price for sin. He returns at the end of the age to call home those who are to be associated with him in his kingdom, and to make the necessary preparations for his glorious reign over the earth. It is a grand message that foretells the coming restitution work to be accomplished. “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” (Isa. 61:4, NIV) This prophecy is true not only for the regathered Israelites, but for the people of all nations.

Another passage from our Selected Scripture speaks of the glory of the kingdom. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isa. 60:1-3, NIV) Darkness still covers the earth and its people, as the prophet has stated, but there is much evidence to indicate that we are now living at the end of the Gospel Age.

It is true that Jesus was a light to the world during his earthly ministry. But now it is time for the fulfillment of the last part of Isaiah’s scroll, from which our Lord read in the synagogue at Nazareth. Our Lord, together with his faithful bride, will be the great light that will arise in glory over the world. The darkness will then be taken away from the world and the human family will desire to come to that light to be taught the ways of holiness and truth. “Lift up your eyes and look about you: all assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm.” (Isa. 60:4, NIV) Thus may we continue to proclaim this good news of the kingdom to all mankind.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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