Did Jesus Really ‘Mean’ It?

When Jesus was starting his public ministry, early on He went to His hometown of Nazareth.

He went to the synagogue, and offered to read. The scroll of the Prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, and He found the spot where he read…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,                                                                                                         and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.[f]”                                                                     He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”  (Luke 4:18-21)

Jesus was making a very bold claim…that He, Himself was the fulfillment of this prophecy–which had been looking forward to the Messiah!

He’s saying that HE is the Messiah!

Understandably, some of the people balked: “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22)

It is understandable that they wouldn’t believe Him, just because he made that claim…after all, they’d seen him grow up with their kids…he may’ve been ‘different’–more righteous, for example, but it’s understandable that they’d struggle with this at this point.

‘The proof’, as they say, ‘is in the pudding‘.

So…if they watched and listened to Him, what would they have seen?

The Gospels are filled with the ‘proof’.

Blind eyes are healed and made clear; Good News is preached to everyone–rich and poor; those possessed or oppressed by demons are rescued and given freedom, many are healed of long-term diseases, the dead are raised to life…miracles are done–wind and waves obey His command, food is multiplied at His word…

The proof is right there!

But one promise stands out, in my mind: “Captives (Prisoners) would be set free” (v. 18).

What did Jesus mean by that?open prison

We have no record, after all, of Jesus walking into jails around Capernaum and releasing the prisoners. No prisons in Jerusalem were destroyed…so what did He mean?

Perhaps it was a ‘captivity’ of the soul…perhaps a captivity of our emotions…perhaps a captivity of our addictions.

Surely, Jesus sets people who were ‘captive’ to fear, anxiety, and hopelessness free. Absolutely, He sets those who’ve been captured and enslaved by the false promise of a ‘high’ or ‘relief’ in the form of a drink, a drug, a sexual escape, or other ‘addictions’.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (and make false promises, and enslave, and shame, and threaten), “but I have come that they might have life…to the full!” (John 10:10).

“If anyone is in Christ, they are a New Creation! The old life is gone, New LIFE has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis mine.)

Leaning on Jesus…walking with Him, step by step, day by day, is THE way to deliverance, freedom, victory and healing! Only Jesus can give you the ‘real thing’ that was falsely promised to you by the enemy of your soul.

No one can fulfill those longings…other than Jesus.

Did Jesus ‘mean it’ when He promised to be The One who would heal, fulfill, and free?


“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36)

So, how about it…is there something that YOU need release or healing from?

Jesus is The Source of that freedom!

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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