The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me: What Does Luke 4:18 Mean?


Luke 4:18, “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.” (King James Version)

TranslationLuke 4:18
NIVThe Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.
NLTThe Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.
ESVThe Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
NASBTHE 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.

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

4:14-30 Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, to pray and praise.

All the gifts and graces of the Spirit were upon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may be loosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace from the bondage of corruption.

He came by the word of his gospel, to bring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power of his grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And he preached the acceptable year of the Lord.

Let sinners attend to the Saviour’s invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed.

Christ’s name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than in the word of his grace, and the power that went along with it.

We may well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to such graceless wretches as mankind.

Some prejudice often furnishes an objection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and while it is the word of God that stirs up men’s enmity, they will blame the conduct or manner of the speaker.

The doctrine of God’s sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men.

They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry when others have the favours they neglect.

Still is Jesus rejected by multitudes who hear the same message from his words.

While they crucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by our obedience.

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Luke 4:18 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18, 19. To have fixed on any passage announcing His sufferings (as Isa 53:1-12), would have been unsuitable at that early stage of His ministry.

But He selects a passage announcing the sublime object of His whole mission, its divine character, and His special endowments for it; expressed in the first person, and so singularly adapted to the first opening of the mouth in His prophetic capacity, that it seems as if made expressly for this occasion.

It is from the well-known section of Isaiah’s prophecies whose burden is that mysterious “Servant of the Lord,” despised of man, abhorred of the nation, but before whom kings on seeing Him are to arise, and princes to worship; in visage more marred than any man and His form than the sons of men, yet sprinkling many nations; laboring seemingly in vain, and spending His strength for naught and in vain, yet Jehovah’s Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and be His Salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa 49:1-26, &c.).

The quotation is chiefly from the Septuagint version, used in the synagogues.

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