Now, it seems to us, that this first sermon of our Lord’s to His old fellow-townsmen brings into striking prominence some characteristics of His whole teaching. His message was not so much ” Believe in God and do right ” as it was ” Believe in Me and follow Me “. Jesus lays down this principle that these sayings of “ Mine ” are a bedrock-foundation, on which whoever builds builds shall never be put to confusion. This is but specimen of the golden tread, if I may call it so, of self-assertion which runs through the whole of our Lord’s teaching – There are, as it were, two strands running through the prophetic passage which He quotes, one in reference to himself, one in reference to those whom He came to help –
Luke 4: 18 – 21 ” The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has appointed Me ( the Anointed One, the Messiah, to preach the good news ( the Gospel ) to the poor, He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed ( who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity )……. And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing. “
There are four (4) symbols employed in Jesus’s presentation: The poor, the captives, the blind, the bruised. And all these four are the representation of the result of one fell cause, and that is sin.
Furthermore, Sin impoverishes. Our true wealth is God. No man that possesses Him, by love, and trust, and conformity of will and effort to His discerned will, is poor whatever else he has, whatever else he lacks. And no man who has lost this one durable treasure, the loving communion with, and possession of, God, in mind, and heart and will and effort; but is a ” Pauper ” ( A person without any means of support, especially a destitute person, who depends on aid from public welfare funds or charity. ) whatever else he possesses. Wherever a man has sold himself to his own will, and has made himself and his own inclinations and misread good his center and his aim, which is the definition of sin, there bankruptcy ( legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay debts to creditors ) and poverty has come – Sin makes poor.