x426........Jesus' Mission Statement

17* And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18* The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20* And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4: 17-21)

In these scriptures, Jesus is standing before the elders and priests of Israel. He is explaining what His mission is in the earth--He is explaining what He is going to do in the next few years of His earthly ministry. He uses the prophecy which the Lord spoke through Isiaha concerning the Messiah.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

I think we understand most of these statements--as most of them are very obvious. When we read these statements, and then continue to read the Gospel of Luke--or any of the other Gospels it is very clear that Jesus did these things. He preached the Gospel---He healed the sick--He cast out the devil (deliverance)--He fed the poor---He brought recovery of sight to the blind (I believe tha this not only means the physical healing of the blind--but also the teachings of Jesus which open blind eyes to the kingdom of God).

But, there is one statement which Jesus makes here, which I believe that we do not interpret correctly nor recognize (although when it is revealed it becomes very obvious),

"to set at liberty them that are bruised,"

This seems to be talking about a type of healing which Jesus is going to perform--perhaps internal healing of some sort. But when we look at the Greek in this case we can see what Jesus was really saying......

the words which are translated as "set" is the Greek word "apostello"--

apostello {ap-os-tel'-lo} v

----- send 110, send forth 15, send away 4, send out 2, misc 2; 133

1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed

2) to send away, dismiss

2a) to allow one to depart, that he may be in a state of liberty

2b) to order one to depart, send off

2c) to drive away

This of course is the Greek word which is most often translated (or should we say NOT translated) "apostle" An "apostle" (Greek: "apostellos") is simply "one who is sent". This word "apostello" is simply the other grammatical form (the verb). Most often this word is translated as "sent"--but here--in this one instance--the translator choose to translate is as the word "set" (conversely--the word "set" is used over 700 times in the Bible--but it is always another Greek word--usually histemi"--or --"paratithemi")

the next word is "liberty"--which is translated in this way......

afesiv aphesis {af'-es-is} n f

----- remission 9, forgiveness 6, deliverance 1, liberty 1; 17

1) release from bondage or imprisonment

2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

"Liberty" is a good translation--this word connotes "release--or freedom"

So, lets translate this in a more accurate way--

"to set at liberty them that are bruised,"

"to send forth and release them that are bruised"

To "send out with liberty them that are bruised."

"to release apostles of them that are bruised"

Any of these are, in fact, accurate translations of this statement. And of course, they also reveal the relevance of what Jesus is saying. We know that the release of apostles was central to the ministry of Jesus and the early church. One of the very first things which Jesus does in His ministry is to choose apostles--(Matthew chapter 4--Mark chapter 1--Luke chapter 5--John chapter 1). He released " the twelve" but He also released "the 70". It is very obvious that Jesus released many apostles--that He "sent" many people to serve God --to preach the Gospel--to heal the sick and to cast out the devil. But it should now also be clear that Jesus was saying that this was one of the most important parts of His mission in the earth, and a central way that His ministry would operate.

This is speaking about the purpose that Jesus gave people in this lifetime. This is saying that He not only saves us for heaven, but He releases us to His purposes---His ministry--in the earth today--a real purpose for all our lives---the apostleship of every Christian. A purpose received by faith--at the moment of belief in Christ as Lord--just like salvation--healing--delliverance. Jesus didn't "half-save" us. The name "Yeshua" means "complete Savior"---His salvation is complete--it guarantees eternal life in heaven, and releases us to the full purposes of God. Ministry for all--not "some"--(not rulership!)--service from which we attain our sanctification (see Roman 6) in this life. Service which gives us a purpose--until He comes again to set up His kingdom in the earth.

Our challenge to every Christian church: Make your church an organization which releases! Make your precious time of gathering a time of function and not ceremony! Make your church a network--an apostolic network. Recognize the ministry of every member of your body--release it--let it grow--quit ruling it!!

But, now let's take all of what Jesus said His mission was in context. What Jesus is describing is the correct use of the authority of God. Jesus used the authority which the Father had given Him exactly as the Father commanded it to be done. He used authority (power--to rule over) over the works of sin and the devil--specifically to heal the sick--to cast out the devil (deliverance) and to preach the Gospel. But the final use of His authority was to release others to serve God in the same way that He did.

Jesus operated His ministry in exactly this order. He would come to an area, and heal the sick, cast out devils--and preach and teach the Gospel of the kingdom. Jesus ministry was to Israel. His ministry --and in fact the entire new Testament relates the "apostolic revival "which Jesus began and His followers continued.

But, it is little recognized or understood that when Jesus had healed and delivered and brought the Gospel to a group of people, He also "sent them away"--He released them to go out and serve God. For example after Jesus fed the 5,000, He specifically returned to them and "sent them away" (Greek: "appoullos"--a root of "apostle")--it was a specific act which He carried out--not just telling people to go home!

One of the best examples of this idea of a free, faith-release to ministry, is that of the demoniac of the Gadarenes...

"And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."
(Mark 5:1-20, KJV).

This man most certainly received the great deliverance that Jesus promised in Luke 4:18. But notice the end of the story! The man wants to follw Jesus, and Jesus tells himthe most remarkable thing--"Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."--Jesus releases him--simply tells the formerly demon-possessed man to go and witness. And the result is amazing (all men did marvel)--"he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him:". The man goes to "Decapolis" (which means ten-cities!) and begins to "publish" what Jesus had done. He goes and becomes a preacher to ten cities!! Immediately--without training or education or "sitting under authority".

Now, wait a minute--you might be saying--the Bible uses the word "publish"---is that preaching?---Yes! Here is yet another place where ancient translators have tried to confuse us about ministry. The word which is translated as "publish" in this instance is the Greek word: "kerusso"--which is translated 51 other times as "preach". Did the translators not want it to look like the demon-possesed man was immediately released to be a preacher? What do you think?

Ministry is a gift--the gift of Christ. Like all of God's gifts it is for all who meet Him by faith.

It's Jesus' ministry--not ours--not rulership--service. And it's for all.