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Luke 4:18-19

Context

4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed 1  me to proclaim good news 2  to the poor. 3 

He has sent me 4  to proclaim release 5  to the captives

and the regaining of sight 6  to the blind,

to set free 7  those who are oppressed, 8 

4:19 to proclaim the year 9  of the Lords favor. 10 

1 sn The phrase he has anointed me is an allusion back to Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3:21-22.

2 tn Grk “to evangelize,” “to preach the gospel.”

3 sn The poor is a key term in Luke. It refers to the pious poor and indicates Jesus’ desire to reach out to those the world tends to forget or mistreat. It is like 1:52 in force and also will be echoed in 6:20 (also 1 Pet 2:11-25). Jesus is commissioned to do this.

4 tc The majority of mss, especially the later Byzantines, include the phrase “to heal the brokenhearted” at this point (A Θ Ψ 0102 Ë1 Ï). The phrase is lacking in several weighty mss (א B D L W Ξ Ë13 33 579 700 892* pc lat sys co), including representatives from both the Alexandrian and Western texttypes. From the standpoint of external evidence, the omission of the phrase is more likely original. When internal evidence is considered, the shorter reading becomes almost certain. Scribes would be much more prone to add the phrase here to align the text with Isa 61:1, the source of the quotation, than to remove it from the original.

5 sn The release in view here is comprehensive, both at a physical level and a spiritual one, as the entire ministry of Jesus makes clear (Luke 1:77-79; 7:47; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43).

6 sn Again, as with the previous phrase, regaining of sight may well mean more than simply miraculously restoring physical sight, which itself pictures a deeper reality (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

7 sn The essence of Jesus’ messianic work is expressed in the phrase to set free. This line from Isa 58 says that Jesus will do what the nation had failed to do. It makes the proclamation messianic, not merely prophetic, because Jesus doesn’t just proclaim the message – he brings the deliverance. The word translated set free is the same Greek word (ἄφεσις, afesi") translated release earlier in the verse.

8 sn Again, as with the previous phrases, oppressed may well mean more than simply political or economic oppression, but a deeper reality of oppression by sin (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

9 sn The year of the Lords favor (Grk “the acceptable year of the Lord”) is a description of the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:10). The year of the total forgiveness of debt is now turned into a metaphor for salvation. Jesus had come to proclaim that God was ready to forgive sin totally.

10 sn A quotation from Isa 61:1-2a. Within the citation is a line from Isa 58:6, with its reference to setting the oppressed free.



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