The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted…
The peculiar feature of this quotation from Isaiah, which Christ makes His own, is its doubleness. "The poor" — but men are poor in condition and in spirit. "The captives" — but men may be in bondage under masters or circumstances, and also under their own sin. "The blind" — but men may be blind of eye and also in spiritual vision. "The bruised" — but men are bruised in the struggles of this rough world, and also by the havoc of their own evil passions. Which did Christ mean? Both, but chiefly the moral, for He always struck through the external forms of evil to the moral root, from which it springs, and of whose condition it is the general exponent. And He always passed on to the spiritual end to which external betterment points. He was no reformer playing about the outward forms of evil — hunger, poverty, disease, oppression — giving ease and relief for the moment. He does indeed deal with these, but He puts under His work a moral foundation, and crowns it with a spiritual consummation. Dealing with these, He was all the while inserting the spiritual principle which He calls "faith." Unless He can do this He is nearly indifferent whether He works or not. If you cannot heal a man's spirit, it is a small thing to heal his body. It you cannot make a man rich in his heart and thought, it is a slight matter to relieve his poverty. At the same time, Christ will not separate the two, for they are the two sides of one evil thing. Poverty and disease and misery mostly spring out of moral evil. They are not the limitations of the finite nature, but are the fangs of the serpent of sin And so Christ sets Himself as the Deliverer from each, the origin and the result, the sin at the root, and the misery which is its fruitage.
(T. T. Munger.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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,
WEB: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed,