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Friday, February 5, 2010

He came to Comfort the Afflicted and to Afflict the Comfortable

Jesus had a special sense of mission to poor and oppressed people. At the outset of his ministry, sometimes referred to as Jesus' “mission statement,” the gospel writer Luke states that Jesus stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth and read from the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Clearly, God’s ways are not our ways. Although perverse by middle class and wealthy standards, Jesus spoke in twisted, inside out, turned around and upside down ways - “shock talk” so-to-speak. Essentially, in this “mission statement” as quoted by Luke, Jesus in effect is announcing – the purpose of my gospel is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable! In the poor’s humiliation, I have come to give power to the powerless over the powerful. [But be aware] "My kingdom is not of this world."
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