About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus' Inaugural Speech

On January, 20, 2017, Donald Trump will take the oath of the office of the president of the United States on Capitol Hill.  In American tradition he will then address the nation in what is called the presidential inaugural speech wherein he will set forth his agenda for the next 4 years.  Maybe you haven't thought about it, but long before there was an America, our Lord Jesus Christ addressed His nation with His inaugural speech. 


Soon after the Holy Spirit publically anointed Jesus as Israel's Messiah at His baptism Jesus returned to His home town of Nazareth in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14).  On one Sabbath Jesus stood in the local synagogue, opened a scroll, and addressed Israel by reading from Isaiah 61:1 and 2.  It was His inaugural speech wherein He set forth His agenda for the next few years.  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and the recovering of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour" (Luke 4:18 - 20 NIV). 


If you read Isaiah 61:1 and 2 you will note that Jesus ended His inaugural address in mid sentence.  He then sat down, to what I believe was a stunned audience.  Why did Jesus end His speech so abruptly?  Why didn't He finish reading the sentence?  It says.  "And the day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty."  Why did Jesus ignore God's day of vengeance?  


The answer to this question is simple.  Jesus' mandate while on earth was to proclaim the day of God's favour to Israel, not the day of His vengeance.  For this reason He stopped reading in mid sentence.  After centuries of rejecting the prophets of God, God was now graciously extending His favour to Israel in a way never seen before in history.  This was a historic opportunity for Israel, an opportunity it rejected.  


The day of vengeance that Isaiah 61:2 predicts is a period of time where God's wrath and vengeance will explode upon the world.  It's often called the Great Tribulation or the time of Jacob's trials (Jeremiah 30:7).  It ends when God gathers all nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat that is between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives (Joel 3:2, Zechariah 12:3).  The attacking nations think they will destroy Jerusalem but God will destroy them for mistreating His people (Joel 3:2, Zechariah 12:9).  Then, Jesus will save all Israelis (Romans 11:26), also known as the remnant of Israel, who have survived the Great Tribulation.  A spirit of grace and supplication will settle over them as they weep for the One they once pierced (Zechariah 12:10).  Zion will be comforted and will be given a crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:2), thus becoming God's representative to the nations as it was meant to be.   


Jesus abruptly ended His inaugural address for one specific reason.  His mission was to proclaim the day of God's favour, not the day of His vengeance.  Like Jesus, we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are anointed to proclaim the good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, the recovering of sight to the blind, and release to the oppressed.  It's our mission to proclaim that this is the day of the Lord's favour. 



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