Hello, it’s Benji today again with a reading and reflection.

Today we are going to read Isaiah 61.

In this chapter of Isaiah, we are introduced to the way that God will enable his people to live righteous lives, which will in turn point the nations to God. Jesus applied these very words from the opening verses to his own mission as recorded in Luke 4:18-19. In Isaiah 61, the author states that God’s people will become like great oaks. This description is in direct contrast to what was previously mentioned in Isaiah 1:27-31: the people as oaks with fading leaves because of their unrighteousness and injustices that were happening in their community (Isaiah 1:21). God reveals how this change in the hearts of men will become a reality – through the work of the Messiah. Jesus will come not only to deliver, but to transform. These words from Isaiah remind me of the third verse of the Christmas carol “O Holy Night” which states:

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim
  • Which description of an oak tree do you relate more with right now: an oak with fading leaves or a mighty oak planted for God’s glory?
  • Where specifically does your life need Jesus’s Isaiah 61 power right now? (to bind a broken heart, proclaim freedom, release from darkness, proclaim the Lord’s favor and justice, comfort during a time of mourning)