The Holistic Message of Jesus

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"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 proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18-19

It is with this passage of scripture that Jesus began His earthly ministry. Notice-if you will- His balanced approach to the needs of humanity:

1- He was concerned about economic justice

2- He was committed to political freedom

3- He was passionate about physical health

4- He was sensitive to social injustice

5- He was personally invested in the quality of life for all

He was concerned about economic justice

Dr. King once said that “Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social condition that cripple them, is a spiritually moribund religion in need of new blood.” Jesus was concerned with the economic condition of the poor. He came with the good news of abundance.

There is nothing noble and inspiring about poverty. None of us can claim to be living a balanced life as we struggle to make ends meet. Jesus was concerned about the poor and sought to inspire them to upend the structures that robbed them of their dignity and made them destitute.

He was committed to political freedom and Social Justice

The people of Jesus’ time lived under the brutal regime of the Roman Empire. The Romans were brutal in their treatment of others in their empire. They were abusive of slaves who did all the hard work all over the Empire. They worked the farms, they cleaned the sewers, they were the servants in the wealthy houses. They belonged to their owners as though they were animals. Just like animals they could be bought and sold, punished and whipped by their masters.” Many people were imprisoned unjustly and without due process. The majority were mentally imprisoned by the fear tactic of the Roman Authorities who forced all others- including the Jews- to accept the worship of the deceased Roman emperors as gods.

Jesus’ message of freedom was a threat to the power structure of Rome. He knew that it was nearly impossible for His gift of abundant life to be lived out by people who were in physical, mental, and spiritual prison. He wanted the oppressed to be liberated socially and spiritually. He knew the rigidity of the Law was oppressing the majority and made it impossible for anyone to be justified. So He came to proclaim a new era of spiritual freedom without the shackles of religion and the Law.

He was passionate about physical health

Jesus’ concern for physical health is second to none. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, cast out demons from those who were possessed. Jesus understood the significance of good health; and He made good physical health a central tenet of His ministerial platform. And yes, He was primarily concerned about those who were spiritually blind. He nonetheless wanted to have an impact on the physical condition of the people He was sent to deliver.

He was personally invested in the quality of life for all

Jesus ended His Messianic manifesto by proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor upon the earth. The Greek word used for favor is “acceptable.” He was personally invested in making sure we live a life that is acceptable to God. Evidently Jesus knew the life we were living was not acceptable. How could it be when so many were oppressed, blind, sick, broken, spiritually ignorant and poor?

The Command to live a balanced life

Is the quality of life you are living acceptable? Jesus’ manifesto stands as a living document of His commitment to the quality of life we are purposed to enjoy as sons and daughters of God. We have a responsibility to God and to ourselves to prosper in every area of our lives. We cannot remain idle or let our laziness invite poverty to define our existence. We must fight the political and social structures who are trying to rob us of our human dignity. And, we are compelled to take great care of our physical body as it is the temple of God and a gift that is deserving of tender loving care. It is only when the different aspects of our existential reality synchronize with each other under the umbrella of the Holy Spirit that balanced living begins to take shape and abundance becomes inevitable.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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