October 20, 2012

We Are Anointed To Proclaim Forgiveness & Healing

(Teaching notes for St. Luke’s Day 2012 by Rev. John Gishler)

This is a moment of high drama:
  • Jesus announces who He is and what He has come to do
  • Prophecy is fulfilled in their hearing – i.e.  I am the one who will release prisoners, open the eyes of the blind and release the oppressed
  • To understand this we need to notice the context in Luke – follows Jesus temptation by Satan, precedes an exorcism
  • Jesus is not talking about physical prisons or blindness
  • Jesus is talking about freeing people from spiritual prisons and spiritual blindness
  • We also believe in the physical healings of Jesus

 1.    “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (4.21)
a.    Isaiah had written this at least 400 years earlier.
b.    Hebrews expecting another saviour like Moses
c.    Moses was anointed by God to lead them out of physical slavery in Egypt to prosperity in a new land
d.    Moses had given them Laws to ensure they remained in right relationship to God
e.    Moses had given them instruction for animal sacrifices to atone for sins when they failed to keep the Laws
f.      Jesus proclaims Himself as the Saviour they expected

2.    Jesus was anointed by God to Proclaim the Good News
a.    Jesus authority for teaching and healing is God in the form of the Holy Spirit
b.    Jesus depends on God for guidance and power in all He does
c.    Our own healing ministry is simply to be available and to listen

3.    The Good News is freedom for spiritual prisoners (4.18)
a.    Bad news is that we are all born as spiritual prisoners
b.    Born into a world that is full of guilt and shame that separates people from God
c.    Bad news is we also have an enemy of our souls
d.    We can soften this by thinking of Satan as God’s Quality Control Dept. that tests and strengthens us
e.    Sins wound us spiritually and can lead to bondages
f.      Good News is that Jesus died in our place to create a new path to forgiveness through Faith and repentance
g.    Our Healing ministry frees people by helping them discover and repent the specific sin that has made them prisoners, asking Jesus to take their guilt to the Cross and asking them to accept Jesus forgiveness

4.    We are to proclaim ‘recovery of sight for the blind’
a.    While Jesus did heal the physically blind, this teaching is primarily directed at the spiritually blind
b.    Hebrew teaching is often hierarchal – general teaching are followed by more specific teachings
c.    Many people are blinded by false religious teachings
d.    People are blinded by power and materialism
e.    Spiritual blindness can be healed by good teaching

5.    We are to ‘set the oppressed free’
a.    Spiritual dimension operates on legalistic principles
b.    People can ‘give permission’ by words and actions
c.    Some inherit curses that can come down family lines
d.    Alcoholism is an example of repeated sin creating a wound that opens a doorway to an oppressing spirit

e.    The Good News is that we are all anointed to proclaim forgiveness and healing in our Baptism as Christians

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