Isaiah 61 Commentary

Isaiah 61 Commentary

Back in the days of the Judges, the Spirit of the LORD would come upon an individual and they would rise up and save Israel. Samson is one individual who would single-handedly save Israel under the power of the Spirit of the LORD. Is Isaiah following the same script in his statement in verse 1?

In chapter 60, we saw how the prophet sampled unique experiences and interventions of the LORD in Israel’s long history. Chapter 61 wouldn’t be different. But who exactly is speaking; the prophet? Probably no. The task list for the Spirit-empowered speaker is too high to fit a mortal. The Servant, perhaps.

Yes, the Servant-cum-King. Immanuel, the Branch. He is especially empowered to proclaim God’s good news to the poor. How does the proclamation of the good news relate to the time of Israel’s redemption? In chapter 61 we heard, “in its time, I will do this swiftly,” Could it be that the proclamation of the good news coincides with the mending of broken hearts and the release of prisoners?

Again, the answer is yes. It is the same task list by the Servant-cum-King otherwise called Immanuel or simply the Son. Check the title-bound functions of Immanuel: the government will be on his shoulders; He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace; of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end; He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness.

As we all can see, the task list is not anything close to having the most complicated motorcade with buttons to nuclear weaponry at your fingertips! This is salvation in its real manifestation!

It is true; those that have come to Jesus Christ have not known desperation. The Spirit speaks peace to them. Days of mourning are over. Instead, they live trustfully in the presence of the LORD. Yes, they still live under the harsh conditions of earthly existence but theirs is way above and is definitely heavenly – a crown of beauty it is.

Verse 6 is a direct reference to Peter’s claim that believers are a royal priesthood – royal because of the son/daughter relationship with King Jesus who doubles as the High Priest.

There is the mention of the double portion. Then we have the example of the bridegroom and the bride. Isaiah is winding down his long work beautifully. Isaiah’s future was always full of God’s promises of a restored relationship with the Creator God – hinged on righteousness. The Servant would provide the means – the how and what of the grand plan of restoration. The LORD Jesus Christ is always ‘big time’ for the nations. What a blessing it is to experience these times when our knees can bow and our tongues can confess this name.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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