What is the Good News?
A Sermon on Luke 4:18-19
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind, …
18The 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, …
What is Christianity all about? There is no one better to get an answer to this question than Jesus Himself. In this sermon on Luke 4:18–19 titled “What is the Good News?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at Jesus’s statement concerning Himself. Jesus tells that He has come to bring good news to the poor and to give sight to the blind. What does this mean? First, Jesus brings healing not to the self-righteous, but to those that know they are weak and poor in spirit. Only those who know they are poor seek the riches that Christ brings. Secondly, Jesus is the source of blessing and wisdom. From an early age, Jesus confounded the teachers of the law with His wisdom and knowledge of the things of God. What then is Christianity about? According to Jesus Himself, it is about Him and His gospel message of salvation for sinners. All Christians must look to Jesus Himself for an understanding of what Christianity truly is, not tradition and culture, but the person and work of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus reads from Isaiah 61, proclaiming that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him.
- Jesus claims that this prophecy is fulfilled in him, indicating he is the Messiah.
- The message of Jesus comes as a surprise, contrary to expectations. His message is “good news” for the poor.
- The “poor” refers not just to economic poverty but spiritual poverty, recognizing one’s need for God.
- Sin makes us all spiritually poor, robbing us of character, power over sin, ability to enjoy life, and life itself.
- The “poor in spirit” recognize their spiritual poverty and need for God. The gospel is good news for them.
- The good news is that though Jesus was rich, he became poor so we could become rich. He took our sin and gives us pardon, life, and power.
- Jesus offers abundant pardon, life, and power for those who recognize their poverty and come to him.
- This message is for those aware of their failure and need, not the self-righteous. We must recognize our poverty to receive the good news.
- The message is to come out of a life apart from God, receive pardon in Christ, and follow him.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.