On Thursdays during Advent, I’ll post short pieces that explore some Scripture and theology behind our Christian beliefs and practices.
Jesus Proclaims Himself to Be the Fulfillment of Old Testament Promises
In Luke 4, we find Jesus reading from the prophet Isaiah, actually a combination of Isaiah 61:1–2 and 58:6.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
—Luke 4:18–19, NRSV
He then says, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus sees himself as the fulfillment of these Old Testament prophecies. This is significant, because Jesus thereby joins his mission to God’s age-old mission: to bring good news, justice, and healing. By aligning himself with these prophecies, he is proclaiming what he stands for and what his mission is.
So if you want to understand what God promises through Jesus’ life and work, read this passage a few times and let it sink in.
If you want to know, in a few phrases, what Jesus was about—what he, himself, said he was about—then consider what these promises mean to the present-day world and to your life, right now.
If you have questions about our Advent theme of How Do We Live Between Promise and Fulfillment?, please share them in the comments, and I’ll answer some of them on the blog in the coming weeks.