The Book of Isaiah
James J. Barker

Lesson 58

Text: ISAIAH 61


1.     After His baptism in the Jordan River, and His temptation in the wilderness, our Lord returned to Galilee (Luke 4:14-21).

2.     Notice the emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14, 18; cf. Isaiah 61:1).

3.     If our Lord needed to be filled by the Holy Spirit, how much more do we?

4.     Our Lord taught in various synagogues throughout Galilee, and then “He came up to Nazareth, where he had been brought up” (Luke 4:14-16).

5.     It was our Lord’s custom to go to the synagogue on the sabbath day (4:16).  It ought to be our custom to be in church on the Lord’s Day.

6.     Matthew and Mark briefly mention this trip to His hometown of Nazareth, but it is only Luke who records His visit to the synagogue (Luke 4:16ff.).

7.     Here in Luke 4:17-19, we see that our Lord read from Isaiah 61:1, 2.  Then, He said, “This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (4:21).

8.     By making this statement, He was claiming to be their Messiah (cf. Luke 24:25-27).

9.     We have here in Isaiah 61, a blending together of the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.  We are now living in the period between the two advents.

10. We also have here the doctrine of the Trinity (Isa. 61:1), which is taught in more detail in the NT.







1.     Some people have thought that the prophet Isaiah is speaking in Isaiah 61:1.  However, Isaiah has been describing the coming Messiah in great detail throughout the entire book of Isaiah.  It would be odd for him to now claim for himself these attributes.

2.     Merrill Unger said that Isaiah “had studiously kept himself in the background” (Unger’s Commentary on the OT).

3.     In Isaiah 61:10, Isaiah speaks in the first person singular, but he is representing God’s people in the millennial kingdom.

4.     We know for sure that Isaiah 61:1 and 2 refers to Christ, because our Lord Himself quoted these Scriptures in Luke 4:18 and 19.

5.      Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek…”

6.      In the Old Testament, priests, prophets, and kings were all anointed with oil (cf. Ex. 29:7; I Samuel 16:13; I Kings 19:16).  This all pointed to Christ, who was anointed as our priest, prophet, and king.

7.      In fact, the Hebrew word Messiah, and the Greek word Christos, mean “anointed one.”

8.     All Christians need the anointing of the Holy Spirit – not just pastors and Sunday School teachers and soulwinners, but all Christians.  In fact, all Christians should be Spirit-filled soulwinners.

9.     If we want to see more of the power of God, and more souls saved, and more lives changed – than we need the anointing and filling of the Holy Spirit.

10. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is referred to many times in the Bible (Isa. 61:1; cf. Luke 4:18; 1:35; 3:21, 22).

11. John 3:34 says, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

12. If our Lord needed the power of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we?   The “anointing” of the Holy Spirit is essential for effective Bible preaching and soulwinning (Isa. 61:1). 

13. Unfortunately, this doctrine has been confused and abused by false prophets like Benny Hinn.

14. In the Bible, anointing was done with oil, and oil is a picture and emblem of the Holy Spirit.  Here “anointing” refers to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

15. The indwelling Holy Spirit establishes believers in their faith and enables them to preach and teach God’s Word (cf. II Cor. 1:21, 22; I John 2:20, 27).



1.     Christ came to preach the Gospel to the meek (literally, “the poor” Isa. 61:1; cf. Luke 4:18; 7:22).

2.     It is a fact that in every land where the Gospel has been preached it has been largely the poor who have rejoiced in its message.  Abraham Lincoln said that God must love the poor because He made so many of them.

3.     A rich man was making fun of a poor farmer one day and he started ridiculing the church the farmer belonged to.  He said, “In our church we have plenty of money, but in your church you have none – that’s because you are a bunch of beggars.”   The farmer replied, “Maybe so, but don’t forget the Bible says that the beggar died and went to heaven but the rich man died and went to hell.”

4.     The problem is that rich people are so taken up with all that this world has to offer that they are not interested in spiritual things.

5.     Christ’s ministry was an outreach to the brokenhearted (61:1) and ours should be too.  Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near…The brokenhearted are those that are really hurting, shattered in mind and spirit.

6.     Jesus came “to proclaim liberty to the captives” (61:1), i.e., to deliver people who are in bondage to sin, to set them free.  Our Lord said in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

7.     Our Lord came to break the chains of sin and despair, to free men and women from the power of sensuality, from unclean living, from bad attitudes, etc. (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18).

8.     Jesus came to open the prison “to them that are bound” (61:1), literally to open the eyes of those that are spiritually blind and imprisoned by the devil (cf. Isa. 42:1, 7; Luke 4:18).

9.     We see our Lord doing this all throughout the four Gospels (cf. Luke 4:33, 40, 41, etc.).

10. These miracles demonstrated that Jesus was the Messiah.

11. One of the major themes of the prophet Isaiah is that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back – this will be bad news for those who have rejected Him and ignored Him and have not received Him – but it will be good tidings (news) for “all that mourn” (61:2b, 3).

12. Christ gives the wedding garment of praise in place of the funeral attire of the mourner (61:3).  The picture here is of a funeral and a wedding.  At a funeral service, the Jewish mourners put ashes upon their heads – they would mourn and lament.  But at a wedding they wore beautiful bridal wreaths and happy garments (61:10, 11).

13. The idea here is that the Messiah offers joy and praise to them who are sad, to those who have sought in vain for peace and satisfaction in this world and whose fondest hopes have failed.

14. To these hurting folks, Jesus offers joy and peace, “that they might be called trees of righteousness…” (61:3).  Trees speak of strength, firmness, fullness, health, and fruit.  

15. What a transformation Christ offers!   From poor and broken-hearted and enslaved by the devil to joyous and strong, “the planting of the Lord.”



1.    The blessings of the kingdom include the restoration of Israel (Isa. 61:4), the Israelites being served by the Gentiles who had long oppressed them (61:5-7), the “everlasting covenant” (61:9), and great numerical growth (61:9).

2.    But before the blessings of the kingdom, there will be the judgments of the tribulation. It is significant that our Lord closed the book after “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19; cf. Scofield notes on pp. 766 and 1077). 

3.    It wasn’t yet the day of vengeance; the day of vengeance still has not arrived – but it will.

4.    Our Lord did not refer to the day of vengeance that day in the synagogue, but later on He did (Luke 21:20-28).

5.    Today we are drawing close to the day of God’s vengeance.  How much longer will God endure such apostasy, such unbelief, such arrogance, such idolatry?  How long will He put up with all of the abortions, the drugs, the drinking, the pornography, the sex perversion, and all of the other filth that keeps getting worse every day?

6.    We need to sound a warning – Jesus is coming back – people need to repent (cf. Isa. 63:1-6).

7.    This is still the day of salvation and the day of grace; but soon, Jesus Christ will get up out of His throne up yonder in heaven, and He will open the book with the seven seals, and He will loose the seven seals, and the wrath of God will be poured out upon this wicked sin-cursed, Satanic, Christ-rejecting world.

8.    And after God shakes this world upside down for at least seven years, the Lord Jesus Christ will return (Rev. 19:11-16).

9.    And He will return to establish His millennial kingdom (Isa. 61:4-11).



1.    The acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 61:2) is the day of salvation (cf. Isa. 49:8; II Cor. 6:2).

2.    Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.  My friend, if you are not saved, now is the accepted time – tomorrow could be too late.

3.    Hebrews 3:7, 8 says, “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

4.    Today is the day of salvation but tomorrow could be “the day of vengeance of our God” (61:2).

5.    God is merciful and gracious.  It is significant that the word year is used to refer to God’s extended time of grace.  God is giving men time to repent.  But the word day is used for time of God’s judgment.

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