“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, NIV.
One passage of Scripture caught my attention this last Christmas. When the angel visited Mary, he said to her, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28, NIV. The verse goes on to say that “Mary was greatly troubled at his words…” [vs. 29] Was Mary also troubled that she was seeing and hearing an angel? I know I would be! But, Mary was more concerned about the message than the messenger. To find “favor” with God, she knew her life was drastically about to change, but how?
On this side of history, we all probably know that Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, His Son. How awesome and yet terrifying this revelation must have been. But, did you know that you and I have also found favor with God?
As we turn the page on the calendar, remember, Jesus came “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” For Mary, being highly favored meant carrying the Savior in her womb. For you and me, to be favored is to carry Jesus in our hearts. The idea is no less awesome and terrifying for us than it was for Mary. Onlookers saw the life of Jesus growing in her belly, and she knew her life would never be the same again. People in our generation see Jesus in us by the way we talk, look, write on Facebook and email.
We live in the year of the Lord’s favor, 2018. What is the message you want to proclaim to the people in “your world?” I hope for all of us that our message is about the good news of Jesus, freedom from the prison of sin and death, and our hope for spending eternity with God.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!