“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners.”
– Isaiah 61:1 (NASB)
When Jesus begins his ministry, he announces it with little fanfare. The dove obviously descended, and the wedding party enjoyed some lovely wine, but Jesus doesn’t rush into the temple or Caesar’s court. He starts at home, in an out-of-the-way synagogue (Luke 4:16-30).
His entire life, with the exception of the crucifixion, follows the same pattern. He’s born in relative anonymity; the witnesses to his birth aren’t the Sadducees and Pharisees but some unnamed shepherds. He grows up in Nazareth, most likely learning carpentry from Joseph. He attends the holy days in Jerusalem.
Jesus lives quietly, healing the broken body and the broken heart. He offers freedom to the captives—the demon-possessed man in the graveyard; the Samaritan woman at the well; Peter, after his denial. Jesus binds our wounds and comforts our fears. For when he came as a baby, he didn’t come to sit in judgment. He came to be Immanuel, God with us, the perfect sacrifice who would set us free from sin and death, forever (Hebrews 2:14-18).