The Messiah Manifesto "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 The air in the synagogue was hot and tight. The attendant handed Jesus the scroll of Isaiah. He quietly unrolled it, found the verse He was looking for, and began to speak with the voice of uncommon authority: "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) For some reason, He stopped. Just like that, Jesus stopped mid-sentence and sat down. The eyes of everyone were fastened on Him. Little wonder. They had never heard Isaiah 61 read in such a way, as if the words were His own. Finally Jesus broke the silence, concluding, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." The rest was a blur. The crowd demanded, "Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." A scuffle broke out and then a riot. The story abruptly ends there, with Jesus' escaping and going on His way to do what He had been sent to do. What made the crowd so angry? Jesus failed to say what the people were hoping He would say, that He had come to institute "the day of vengeance of our God." Vengeance against the Roman occupiers. Vengeance against the political oppressors. When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61, He left off the most terrifying part of the second verse, the part about God's vengeance. He did so to make it clear that He had not come to condemn or destroy but to seek and save the lost. Lord, I'm so grateful that when You came to earth, You came not to destroy but to save. You came not to condemn wicked people but to seek them out in order to give them Your love.