SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2013.
THE MANIFESTO OF JESUS’ MINISTRY
‘And he opened the book and found the place where it was written, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, Lk 4v17-19.’
SOME Bible commentators call this passage the manifesto of Jesus’ ministry. A manifesto serves as a guide of one’s policy. Therefore, Jesus’ manifesto was to control all that He has come to do. With this in view, He is not to be distracted but to be focused in order to affect positively those He has come to minister unto. From the passage, we need to think deeply about two lessons derivable from it.
One, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, said: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.’ This means that every believer, every child of God and, more importantly, every minister of religion should crave for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. The spirit empowers, sanctifies and leads to every truth. It is always presentwith the believer, unlike in the Old Testament that it comes and goes. When the Spirit of God is upon His people, they will do exploit for Him. Therefore, the believer is called upon to be filled with this Spirit of God. It is an essential requirement without which, one cannot go far in his spiritual experience. The Holy writ beckons on every believer to be filled with the Spirit of God, Eph. 5:18, Lk 1:15.
We recall with joy what the Holy Spirit did in the New Testament Church through persons who yielded to His activities. Worthy of note is that of Apostle Peter and his sermon on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2v14ff. When Peter stood up to preach, no doubt, the crowd saw God given power and purpose. He became a magnet for others and that day, 3000 people joined the Church.
Two, Jesus said: ‘He anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor, to release the captives, give sight to the blind, set at liberty them that are bruised…’ For a ministry to thrive, it requires unction, anointing. In I Sam. 16:13, Samuel anointed David. There was pouring of oil upon the person’s head, which is an outward sign of an inward grace. When it is present, it causes revolution in ones ministry in the aspect of his preaching, teaching, healing, deliverance and counseling. It is at this level that those who are held by sin are set free, those who have been blinded by the things of the world will recover not only their physical sight, but also their spiritual sight, and the broken hearted will receive the undiluted word of God.
Jesus’ ministry was dotted with lots of healing and deliverance sessions. These could be seen in Mark 1:40-44, 2:1-12, 3:1-6, 5:1-20, 5:21-end and others.
Notice, when a ministry is without anointing, it loses the fire and the fervour of God. Anointing makes the difference and breaks every yoke. Those who are anointed have a stamp of authority from the throne of grace. We should crave for anointing; through it God will release His power as we live and serve Him.
It is important to caution ourselves that sin dries anointing. Sin, whether secret or open, hinders the anointing of God. It behooves us, therefore, to ensure that God’s anointing in our lives remains new every day.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.