“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; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1–3, NASB95)
A powerful portion of Jesus’ anointing… but it kinda sound weak. Don’t get me wrong, we’re going to unpack it. But this is the portion of Isaiah 61 that sounds like Jesus came to help sixth grade girls deal with the fact that they’re not going to marry Justin Beiber. But it is indeed so much more.
Have you ever been crushed? Have you ever had a moment that took the wind out of you? I’m not talking about disappointment, but devastation. I remember a moment a few years ago that I sat in my office devastated.
It’s not unusual for a minister to have a tough Sunday and causally peruse the open church listings on Monday… trust me, it’s incredibly therapeutic. But this day was different… it wasn’t even a Monday.
We had just moved to a church slightly south of Memphis, TN. It was a fairly young church, it was growing quickly and was looking for a worship pastor to take them to the “next level.” The only problem was next level in the interview was extremely different than next level when we were on the payroll. To this day, I don’t know why this church would have ever offered me a job… I was a terrible fit for their ministry objective. They wanted me to be what they wanted me to be and there was no room for anything else. I was miserable. I could go into a long blog about the gritty details of my short time at this church… and maybe one day when I’m in a bad mood I’ll go for it… but not today.
So, I walk into my office one day and I type something into google that I had never typed before. I didn’t run a search for open positions in churches… instead I typed these words. Good jobs for former music ministers. I thought I was done. Not that I thought the church or the pastor could end my carrear. I just didn’t think I wanted to do it anymore… I was an emotional and physical wreck. I hated being a worship pastor.
In this passage the word brokenhearted comes from two Hebrew words NISBERE (broken) and LEB (hearted). This word LEB can be interpreted a few ways that bring the meaning out… attention, conscience, imagination, inspiration, intelligence, pride, skill…
This brokenhearted is more of a completely damaged in places no one can fix. Just look at these words… imagination, inspiration, intelligence. So hurt that you can’t see any good, nothing awakens joy inside of you and you feel like an absolute fool all the time. Totally worthless.
But Jesus reaches down and and makes a deposite of value in us that nurses us back to life… and life to the full mind you. Look at this…
“When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.” (Mark 9:25–27, NASB95)
Just as everyone thinks the boy is dead… Jesus takes him by the hand and raises him up.
So for me, I did not leave the ministry. A few days later I took some time and I sat down with my computer and asked the Lord to show me what I valued in ministry. After several hours, I had a document I call my “Philosophy of Ministry”. And when I looked at the pages I had written I was inspired… the Lord showed my my value.
He healed my broken heart… and He will heal yours in Jesus’ name.