Prophets, priests and kings throughout the pages of the Old Testament launched into their ministry with an anointing by oil symbolizing the ministry of the Holy Spirit which God abundantly poured out for effective service.
In Luke 4, Jesus finds the Messianic portion of Isaiah and reads the opening statements of chapter 61 in this Christocentric prophet.
“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 prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind.
– to release the oppressed,
– to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Having already, at His baptism in the Jordan River, been identified as “the beloved Son” of the Father, this further confirmation declares the unity of purpose in which Jesus has come.
He is Israel’s (and ours) Prophet, Priest and King.
He will speak God’s message to the people as the Prophet. He will boldly declare during His ministry “…but I say unto you….” as God’s official Messianic interpreter of Scripture.
He will intercede before God on behalf of the people as the Priest, yes, even our great High Priest. His prayers, His sacrifice for sins once for all will affirm this sacred calling.
He will rule on God’s behalf of the people as King. He has come as King and is establishing a kingdom. I am mystified at those who see the “kingdom” as only a future event when John the Baptist and Jesus Himself clearly declared “the kingdom is at hand….It is near….” We sing praise to the King who is not only coming to reign but who has come and IS REIGNING. He is the KING of the JEWS … born as such (Matthew 2) and will die likewise.
What will this anointing of the Holy Spirit enable Jesus to accomplish?
He will preach. He will proclaim freedom. He will heal. He will release captives. He will announce the LORD’s favour. His ministry will change lives.
If the Son of God, God’s perfect ministry candidate, was anointed with the Holy Spirit of God to accomplish God’s will, how much more must we need that filling, that anointing, that empowering which only God can provide. If, as Peter claims in His epistle, those who speak are to speak “the very words of GOD,” and those who serve are to serve with “the strength God provides” then this day we must remove any sinful hindrance (This is the season of Lent, is it not?) and join with the hymn writer who penned, “Breathe on me Breath of God…”