I was reading through Luke 4 the other day and came upon a passage that always strikes me when I read it. Jesus has come into his hometown of Nazareth and he goes into the local synagogue where I am sure he had many childhood memories. But Jesus is no longer a child, now he stands as a man and oh, so much more. On this day he stood up and read from the Scriptures. The passage he chose to read from was Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Up to this point everyone is probably smiling. But then Jesus tells them that the prophecy he just read is now being fulfilled through him. Isaiah prophesied the coming Messiah would focus on those who were poor, enslaved, blind, and oppressed. Isn’t this what Jesus was all about? To me this is so amazing. Jesus goes home to the people he has known since he was a boy playing on the streets of Nazareth. They have watched him grow up and become a man. They are his friends and his family. He now has this moment when he is going to tell him who he really is, and he does so by reminding them of the heart of the Messiah.
As you read through the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you will find Jesus constantly helping those in need. He touched the sick, the lame, the blind, and the leporous, meeting their physical needs and preaching the good news. He forgave the woman caught in adultery, talked to the woman at the well, cast out demons, and calmed the storm, meeting spiritual and emotional needs while he preached the good news.
Jesus was on a spiritual mission with social ramifications.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21
As I look around me at the women and children around the world, I see poverty, slavery, oppression, abuse, and so much more. I am called to look like Jesus, to act like Jesus, to be his hands and feet in this world. So what am I doing about poverty? slavery? oppression? abuse?
Dare for More is dedicated to a spiritual mission with social ramifications. In the coming days and weeks I will begin to share with you the doors of opportunity God is opening for us to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women in great need. I am excited! I long to have the heart of Jesus as I minister to those around the world.