# 11 The Recipients of the Gospel – Part 1
By Pastor Bill
In Luke 4, after Jesus had been anointed by the Holy Spirit when He was baptized by John, and been tempted in the wilderness for forty days, He went into the synagogue in Nazareth and began to read from Isaiah 61. (See Isaiah 61:1-3.) In this account, we not only find the message of the gospel, but we also find the recipients. Jesus said that He had been anointed to preach the gospel to the four different recipients: poor, captives, blind, and oppressed.
(Luke 4:18-19) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
Poor: Most scholars agree that the poor is not talking about the financially poor, even though it can include them. Jesus was talking about those who are poor in spirit. He was talking about those who recognized that they have a spiritual deficit, they have a debt that they cannot pay. Jesus came to pay the debt of our sin, and the good news is that those who recognize their spiritual poverty have an opportunity to have that debt paid.
Captives: The second group of recipients are the captives. Romans 3:23 say “all have sinned”, and are in bondage to sin. In Romans 6:6-7, we learn “that our old self was crucified with Christ (through baptism), in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Every single person in the whole world is a captive to sin, and an eligible recipient of the gospel. Jesus came to set all of us free from captivity.
Blind: The third group of recipients are the blind. Jesus healed many who were physically blind, but I believe that He was primarily speaking to those who are spiritually blind. In John 9, Jesus healed a man who had been born blind. Then, He addressed the Pharisees who were still spiritually blind and says, “since you say we see, your sin remains.” (See John 9:1-41.) Jesus wanted to take away their sins also and give them sight. The gospel was available to them, but they did not recognize their spiritual blindness.
Oppressed: The final group Jesus mentions are those who are oppressed. This includes all who are oppressed for any reason. People are oppressed by other people, poverty, demons, sins, and by many things. The good news is that Jesus came to preach the gospel to anyone who is oppressed.
Everyone in the world is spiritually poor, a captive of sin, blind, and oppressed. Everyone in the world is a potential recipient of the gospel. Lord, help us to preach the good news to all who are poor, captivated by sin, blind, or oppressed. Give us opportunities, and give us boldness to proclaim your gospel. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.