As Jesus began his ministry, he read a sort of “mission statement” taken from the book of Isaiah,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
This was and is the mission of the Person we call our King. The books of Luke and Acts are two volumes that describe, first, how Jesus went about fulfilling his mission and, second, how his followers continued his work. To know our place in the world under the reign of our King, we must understand his kingdom purposes.
Jesus’ “freedom mission” in the world, portrayed clearly in Luke’s Gospel, is continued by his followers in the second volume, the Acts of the Apostles. Through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit, we proclaim the Christ in word and deed, in continuity with Jesus’ own ministry. The church is always on mission, always living out the life of Christ, or else it is not the church at all. In homes and work places, dimly lit alleys and shopping malls, the kingdom of heaven grows like a batch of slow-rising dough, the Spirit fulfilling heaven’s will through its earthly citizens. This series, part two of “The Messiah’s Mission” recalls the story of that mission according to Acts.