From today's reading: [Jesus] unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:17-19
Jesus has returned from his time in the wilderness and as he has traveled around the region, he has begun to make a name for himself. This is his first public statement concerning his identity and it is made in his hometown.
The quote is from the prophetic literature of Isaiah. It is a quote that says, God cares. He cares for the poor, the captives, the blind and oppressed. He cares that we are hurting, physically or emotionally or spiritually. God not only cares, but he has provided an answer; one that assures us that we are loved and that he will not abandon us.
Two sentences later, Jesus claims, "This has been fulfilled in your hearing." What he is saying to the people is, I am the one who is sent to do these things - to bring good news, proclaim release, give sight to the blind, and set free those who are oppressed. Jesus is the one. He is the one we call on when we are troubled. He is the one who offers us hope in the hopeless situation.
Jesus is the one who can speak peace to our spirit, who speaks hope to our minds, who speaks strength to our heart. Jesus is the one who reaches out to us when we are afraid, and lifts us up when we have fallen. Jesus is the spirit that fills us and lifts us to God's presence - now and always. Amen.