I had a conversation with a pastor friend of mine on a Friday at about 4:30 in the afternoon about theology and various other topics. During this conversation we ended up on the topic of Jesus’s ministry here on Earth. We talked about the amazing gift Christ gave us when he set right the wrongs of Adam. My friend then said something that got me thinking. He said, “Jesus did much more than just restore our relationship with the father, but he came to give us life and to give it more abundantly in John 10:10.”
When my friend brought up the scripture on abundant living, I was already in a study of Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” So when my friend brought this topic up, it really got me thinking. I grew up in a church that taught that abundant living meant God wanted me to be rich. The simplicity of this teaching never sat well with me. As I thought about the conversation with my friend and the studying of Luke 4, I’m convinced the abundance Jesus spoke of in John was proclaimed in Luke. He desires us to have whole lives.
I think it is important for us to know that God is not waiting until we die, and we’re in heaven with him, for our lives to be put together. He desires that our lives be whole and complete on Earth as well as in Heaven. Jesus came with a purpose to heal us of our broken hearts. That alone is enough reason to surrender your will to Jesus. The word to heal here literally means to cure it. Jesus doesn’t want to patch your brokenness but to bring a cure for it.
Jesus also came to proclaim liberty to the captives, which is such and interesting phrase. The term captive is one who was caught in battle. They were prisoners, slaves, in bondage, beat daily and humiliated. Jesus came to tell us that those of us living our lives in captivity, beaten down and humiliated, because of something we’ve done or that was done to us, are now free. He proclaimed our freedom, we don’t have to live like that any more. What an awesome declaration.
Jesus came to recover sight to the blind. He came not only to repair physical sight but spiritual sight as well. He came that we might be able to see life as he sees it. Our sight can be so skewed through our point of view because of mistrust and our own brokenness.
He came to bring liberty to the oppressed. Jesus came to set us free from what oppresses and from the depression that we live with. The term oppressed speaks to one who life has been shattered. Jesus came to bring liberty to those who have a shattered life.
This is all the good news of Jesus. He came that we may have life and life more abundantly. I would encourage anyone who is reading this that may be struggling in any of these areas to get to a church this week, meet this Jesus that I’m talking about and learn how to know him the way that I’m talking about here. Jesus loves us so much that he longs for our lives on Earth to be whole and complete not just when we get to Heaven.