Jeff Weinkauf


Isaiah 61:1-3

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim 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,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.


A few years back while I was attending church on the mainland, our pastor presented Isaiah 61 (and specifically vs 1-3) as the purpose statement for Jesus's life. Isaiah had spoken the words far in advance of Jesus being born, but they were a foreshadowing of His work here. The passage is simple and succinct but fully complete.
I think it's quite beautiful both in form and function.

"because the Lord has anointed me...", " The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me." Reversing these first two statements helps me to see even more clearly that anointing or call comes with empowerment to do the work. God doesn't ask us to do things with-out also providing what we need to do the work.

"He has sent me to..." Sent is a directive word, not a suggestive word. I have been sent for this purpose. That's where I see a need for a missional approach as opposed to just something we "also" do. No this is primary stuff. it's redemptive work. Restoration of things lost or damaged. Words like release, comfort, provide, bestow. Where literally beauty is traded for ashes. That's the picture of grace - un merited favor provided by a loving God.

Further, not only are we restored but we are also strengthened. "Oaks of righteousness" on display to explain God's awesomeness. If you know anything about Oak trees, they are known for their stability and structural integrity. I should be broken. I should have ashes and mourning. BUT because of God's grace, because of His loving kindness not only do I have a crown but I'm also an "Oak".


The application is clear to me. This was Jesus's mission, so it shall be mine as well.I am to care for the lost, to encourage, and to be an extension of God's grace into my community. I am to provide hope and make way for God's restorative work. I am to be an Oak.


Lord thank you first for the example of Jesus, and for Isaiah's words which describe so well His ministry. Please help me to hold this filter up against my life and correct back to it when I get distracted by other things (even good things). Thank you for another day. Amen

Devotions for July 30

Isaiah 60,61,62
John 1

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