We know from the teaching of Jesus and Paul in Matthew 5 and Roman’s 1 something more about God’s righteousness.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Yet…. Jesus will add…
Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
We just saw something like that in 1 Samuel 15…
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Though we note that in this case God was through with Saul being the king….even his later attempt to repent did not change that. It’s most likely reading further text Saul’s repentance was superficial.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Finally, bringing this back to the current chapter. Jesus referred to this as he opened his ministry.
Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Luk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Note that as Luke quotes it, Jesus stopped his reading before the final phrases of the text….the text in bold was not yet fulfilled.
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Peter will comment.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But that all should come to repentance; not legal, but evangelical, without which all must perish; and which all God’s elect stand in need of, as well as others, being equally sinners; and which they cannot come to of themselves, and therefore he not only calls them to it, in his word, and by his spirit and grace, but bestows it upon them; he has exalted Christ at his own right hand, to give it to them; and repentance is a grant from him, a free gift of his grace; and the Spirit is sent down into their hearts to work it in them, to take away the stony heart, and give an heart of flesh; without which, whatever time and space may be given, or means afforded, even the most awful judgments, the greatest mercies, and the most powerful ministry, will be of no avail.
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. The time which he willed and fixed for the redemption of his people, and in which he showed his goodwill and pleasure unto sinful men, in the gift of his Son to them, and for them; and which, as the Arabic and Syriac versions render it, was a time “acceptable to the Lord”: the sufferings of Christ were according to his will; his sacrifice was of a sweet smelling savour to him; his righteousness he was well pleased with; and the satisfaction and atonement for sin he made was a plenary and complete one: all Christ did, and suffered, were grateful to God, because hereby his perfections were glorified, his purposes, counsel, and covenant were accomplished, and his people saved. The Persic version renders it, “to preach the law acceptable to God”, neither agreeable to the original text, nor its sense; for Christ was sent to preach the Gospel, and not the law. In the Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions is added, “and the day of vengeance”, out of the prophecy in Isa 61:2 but is not in any of the copies, or other versions. Our Lord did not read through all the three verses in the prophet, as it might be thought he would, and which was agreeable to the Jewish canon (c):
“he that reads in the law may not read less than three verses, and he may not read to an interpreter more than one verse, and in a prophet three; and if those three are three sections, they read everyone; they skip in a prophet, but they do not skip in the law.”
This last our Lord did, though he did not strictly attend to the former. Indeed, their rule, as elsewhere (d)given, obliged to read one and twenty verses; but this was not always observed; for
“if on a sabbath day there was an interpreter, or a preacher, they read in a prophet three verses, or five, or seven, and were not solicitous about twenty and one (e)”
(c) Misn. Megilia, c. 4. sect. 4. Massechet Sopherim, c. 11. sect. 1. (d) Piske Harosh Megilla, c. 3. art. 6. (e)Massechet Sopherim, c. 12. sect. 7.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,…. By whom is meant, the third person in the Trinity; so called, to distinguish him from all other spirits; and who was given to Christ as man, without measure, whereby he was qualified for his great work: and intends the Spirit of Jehovah, with all his gifts and graces, who was, and abode on Christ, as a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, of counsel and of might, of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord; he was upon him, and in him, the first moment of his conception, which was by his power; and he visibly descended on him at his baptism; and the phrase denotes the permanency and continuance of him with him:
because he hath anointed me; or “that he might anoint me”: the Ethiopic version renders it, “by whom he hath anointed me”; for it was with the Holy Ghost he was anointed, as to be king and priest, so likewise to be a prophet: hence he has the name Messiah, which signifies anointed: and this unction he had, in order
to preach the Gospel to the poor: in Isaiah it is, “to the meek”; which design the same persons, and mean such as are poor in spirit, and are sensible of their spiritual poverty; have low and humble thoughts of themselves, and of their own righteousness; and seek to Christ for durable riches and true righteousness, and frankly acknowledge that all they have and are, is owing to the grace of God: and generally speaking, these are the poor of this world, and poor in their intellectuals, who have but a small degree of natural wisdom and knowledge: to these the Gospel, or glad tidings of the love, grace, and mercy of God in Christ, of peace, pardon, righteousness, life and salvation by Christ, were preached by him; and that in so clear a manner, and with such power and authority, as never was before, or since; and for this purpose was he anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows:
he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted; whose hearts are broken, and made contrite by the word of God, under the influence of the Spirit of God, and with a sense of sin; and are wounded with it, and are humbled for it; and are in great pain and distress, and even inconsolable, and ready to faint and die; for a wounded spirit who can bear? now Christ was sent to heal such persons by his own stripes, by binding up their wounds, by the application of his blood to them, which is a sovereign balm for every wound; by the discoveries of pardoning grace to their souls, and by opening and applying the comfortable promises of the Gospel, by his Spirit, to them:
to preach deliverance to the captives; who are captives to sin, Satan, and the law; from which, there is only deliverance by him; who saves his people from their sins, redeems them from the law, and leads captivity captive; and which liberty and deliverance are preached and published in the Gospel, and by Christ the author of them:
and recovering of sight to the blind; which in the prophet is, “and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”; and which the Septuagint render, as here in Luke, and the Chaldee paraphrase in part agrees with it, interpreting it thus, “to the prisoners”, לנהור אתגלו, “be ye revealed to the light” now because persons in prison are in darkness, and see no light, therefore they are represented as blind; and both are the case of sinners, they are in the prison of sin and of the law, and are blind, ignorant, and insensible of their state; until Christ both opens the prison, and sets them free, and opens their eyes, and gives them spiritual sight; when he says to the prisoners go forth, to them that are in darkness show yourselves, Isa 49:9
To set at liberty them that are bruised: these words are not in Isa 61:1 but in the Septuagint version of Isa 58:6 from whence they seem to be taken, or else from Isa 42:7 it being allowable for a reader in the prophets, to skip from place to place, which our Lord here did, in order to explain this passage more fully.