"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor."
With a plethora of pronouns, it's easy to lose track of the roles expressed in this passage from Christ's first public discourse after the forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness, as recorded by Luke. Here is a simple breakdown of the sentence:
The Father has anointed Jesus.
Jesus preaches good news to the poor.
I am here today, an undeserving recipient of God's grace and mercy, because the Good News, preached by Jesus, who was set apart by the Father and had the Spirit of the Lord resting upon Him, was extended to me, chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world, paid for in the atoning work of the Son, sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternity. What wondrous love is this?!
The Spirit upon Jesus enabled Him to preach good news to the poor. Our Lord today still preaches good news to those impoverished in spirit through the Holy Spirit's abiding work in His followers. "... The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you" (I Peter 4:14b). The servant is not greater than his Master. Our Lord humbled Himself, taking the place of a servant, wetting washcloths and washing the feet of his disciples. Our Lord did this! What kind of testimony would it be to others to see the gratitude and joy of the servants demonstrated when we serve others, following in the footsteps of our Master, greater than we, functioning perfectly and purposefully under the economy of His role within the Trinity.
"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good," says the apostle Peter in his message to Cornelius (Acts 10:38). Nineteenth-century preacher J.R. Miller exhorts us, in our Christ-following service, to do the same:
"We should strive to perpetuate this Christ-ministry of love in this world. Hearts are breaking with sorrow, men are bowing under burdens too heavy for them. Duty is too large, the battles are too hard. It is our mission to do for these weary, overwrought, defeated, and despairing ones--what Christ Himself would do if He were standing where we stand. He wants us to represent Him; and He fills us with His Spirit, that we may be able to scatter the blessings of helpfulness and gladness all about us. Yet one of the saddest things about life is, that, with so much power to help others by kindliness of word and kindliness of act--many of us pass through the world in silence or with folded hands."
We are able to serve the Lord through trial and affliction, under extreme circumstances, emptying ourselves into lives of others who would disregard, reject, mock and persecute us, because the Holy Spirit, that untiring, relentless, thorough, creative, enabling Person of the Trinity, gives us His power and His strength to persevere to the end.