Saturday, December 24, 2022

God Didn’t Send Us a Check on Christmas

“The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
– Isaiah 61:1

David Livingstone was a famous explorer and missionary who served overseas in the 1800s. He led three expeditions into the heart of Africa, making hundreds of discoveries along the way, speaking out against slavery, and taking the gospel to places where no European had ever set foot.

Although he was hailed as a hero in England, Livingstone was dirt poor and had very little help with his missionary expeditions. One day he received a letter that asked, “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send other men to join you.” But David Livingstone replied, “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a GOOD road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

Many Christians WANT to be a part of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people who aren’t saved. But they insist on sharing the gospel on their own terms. “Count me in … as long as I won’t be gone more than a week.” “I’d be happy to help … if there’s a good road that’ll get me there.” Sadly, most Christians refuse even to walk across the street to share the Gospel. When pressed to throw a lifeline to lost and dying people, it’s easier just to send a check.

Aren’t you glad that when our world desperately needed a Savior, God didn’t just send a check? He sent His SON. And God didn’t wait for a good road before He sent Jesus to earth to save us from our sins. Jesus came to earth to build the road. He Himself IS the road to healing, freedom and salvation. Long before Jesus was born, Isaiah 61 made that clear. The chapter begins: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (v. 1).

If you have any doubt that these verses describe Jesus Christ, you need only turn to Luke 4. After Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan River and spent 40 days fasting and praying in the desert, he returned to his hometown of Nazareth and went to synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke tells us, “He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him” (vs. 16-17). Jesus unrolled the scroll and read those prophetic verses from the Book of Isaiah. Then he sat down and told them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21).

Now, according to the prophecy foretold by Isaiah, what did the Spirit of God anoint the Son of God to do?

#1: Jesus came to preach good news to the poor. Jesus’ greatest sermon is his Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5-7. He began this great sermon with the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To be poor in spirit means to be humble and empty, admitting our own unworthiness before God and our utter dependence on Him. So, first and foremost, Jesus came to reach those who were humble enough to understand the bad news: that we are all spiritually bankrupt without Christ. And Jesus also came to bring the Good News: that He had made a way where there seemed to be no way. He would conquer sin and death.

#2: Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted. The brokenhearted are those who feel as if life has chewed them up and spit them out. After pouring so much blood, sweat and tears into their hopes and dreams, their hopes have been dashed, and their dreams have been shattered.

But Jesus specializes in binding up broken hearts. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 61:1 literally means “to bandage or wrap up a serious wound.” But figuratively, it means “to inspire with confidence, give hope and courage to, to encourage.”

#3: Jesus came to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Jesus came to set us free from our captivity to sin and death. In John 8:34, Jesus tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” And two verses later, He follows it up by saying, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). Jesus came to free us from our slavery to sin, which leads to eternal damnation in hell. Most people are slaves to their own sin, and they’re blind to that fact. But once their eyes are opened and they realize they are slaves to sin and death, Jesus can set them free.

Jesus’ mission was far too important to just send a check. So, on that first Christmas, God sent His Son. And now He is sending you—probably not to the jungles of Africa—but He is sending you to your neighbor, a friend or coworker. And He’s certainly sending you to your own family. All the people around you who don’t have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ are slaves to sin. They desperately need Jesus. So, this Christmas, God isn’t sending them a check. Since you have what they need, He is sending them YOU.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us for our Christmas morning service tomorrow at 10 a.m.: in person at 17746 George Blvd., Victorville, CA, or online on YouTube or Facebook. For more information, visit


No comments:

Post a Comment