Study Guides

← Back to Study Guides

Jesus Through Isaiah’s Eyes | Celebration!

March 10, 2024
Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11

1The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

    and the day of vengeance of our God;

    to comfort all who mourn;

3to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.


10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;

    my soul shall exult in my God,

for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;

    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,

    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,

    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,

so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise

    to sprout up before all the nations.

Download study guide icon Download .pdf


To discover and experience Jesus Christ in our midst

To cultivate mutually encouraging relationships

To participate in God’s mission to the world 

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, grant that we, who justly deserve to be punished for our sinful deeds, may mercifully be relieved by the comfort of your grace; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Responsive Prayer—Psalm 90

Return, O Lord! How long?

Have pity on your servants!

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,

That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Let your work be shown to your servants,

And your glorious power to their children.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

And establish the work of our hands!

Summary and Connection

Kintsugi, which means “join with gold,” is a traditional Japanese art wherein broken objects like pottery and glass are repaired by using gold lacquer to piece shards together again. Kintsugi is about restoring beauty from ashes — once broken pieces held together by gold as a testament to the work of repair and not ruin! For this week’s discussion we turn to Isaiah 61 where we are introduced to God’s grand scheme of redemption and restoration of his people. He gives Zion, the city in ruins, beauty instead of ashes — The Year of the Lord’s Favor! But, how does God accomplish this? What is the scope of God’s redemptive work? How should we respond to the news of God’s grand scheme of redemption?

In verses 1-2, we are re-introduced to the servant of the Lord, who speaks with tremendous authority, demanding utmost attention of his listeners. The servant speaks in his own person. He speaks about himself, and his all-encompassing mission as the messiah. We learn that the servant-messiah is endowed with the Spirit of the Lord God, and he proclaims the year of the favor, and the day of vengeance of the Lord. In other words, the servant-messiah proclaims both the mercy and justice of the Lord! How does the servant-messiah proclaim mercy, or the year of the Lord’s favor? He does so by bringing the good news of salvation to the ones afflicted with sickness of sin, and the ones who are downtrodden and disadvantaged. The servant-messiah binds up the wounds of the ones who are broken-hearted due to the emotional turmoil of captivity, and the conviction of sin. To bind up a wound is to pay personal attention in caring and soothing one’s physical and emotional pain. This servant-messiah sets the captives free by opening the prison gates. His redemptive work — the year of the Lord’s favor — points back to the year of jubilee recorded in Leviticus 25:8-55. His restorative work also points forward to the day of the vengeance of the Lord, the appointed day where God establishes justice once and for all, wiping away the tears of all who mourn. In verses 10-11 we see Isaiah himself break into an exultant song of thanksgiving.  Isaiah’s word captures the joyful celebration of a redeemed man who was once undone by the vision of the Lord. The same Isaiah who cried in anguish, “Woe is me! For I am lost,” now sings in joy about being clothed with the garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness. Such is the confidence of Isaiah in the certainty of the Lord’s salvation that he uses an agricultural metaphor to describe the redemption and restoration of the people of all nations!

How could Isaiah be so confident in his assertion about the redemption and restoration of not just Israel, but all the nations of the world? The answer is simple, Isaiah has already tasted the blessing of the age to come. Isaiah, by faith, had seen Jesus, the servant-messiah, proclaim and accomplish what God had planned and purposed — salvation! We see Jesus in Isaiah’s joyful confidence. Jesus quotes the words from Isaiah 61 in his inaugural speech of his ministry (Luke 4:16-22). It is Jesus, the anointed one who brings the good news to the afflicted. He does so by suffering affliction on our behalf. It is Jesus, the gentle and lowly savior, who binds the wounds of the broken hearted. He does so by being wounded for sinners — by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5-6). Jesus, by his life, death, and resurrection, has clothed us with the garments of salvation. Remember, Jesus was stripped of his garments to cover us  with the robe of his righteousness. The Lord’s righteousness has indeed sprouted from the seed of the woman who died to give us life (John 12:24-26). The Lord’s redemption is all about restoring beauty from ashes — once broken image bearers of God, reconciled to God, united with Jesus as a testament of redemption, and not ruin. You, dear Christian, are God’s Kintsugi. And this calls for celebration!

Discussion Questions

1. Looking at the Bible

Observation: Read the passage privately. What does the text say? What according to you is the theme of this passage? Do you notice keywords, parallels, or surprises?

  • Read verse 1: Why does the Lord anoint the servant-messiah with his Spirit?
  • Read verse 2. How should we interpret the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance? How does the day of the Lord’s vengeance bring comfort to all who mourn?

2. Looking at Jesus

At Central we believe that all of Scripture points to Jesus. In other words, Jesus is the theological center of the Bible. Every passage not only points to Jesus, but the grand narrative of the Bible also finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus.

  • We are in a series titled Jesus Through Isaiah’s Eyes. What aspect of the work of Jesus as the servant-messiah has captured your imagination, and why?

3. Looking at Our Hearts

  • Isaiah spoke these words during the political and spiritual decline of Israel. This passage shows us God’s heart — steadfast love and compassion towards us even when we refuse to listen to God. Reflect: Do you feel God is with you, or at a distance from you in this season of life? How might this passage help you?
  • In this passage we read about Jesus ministering to the afflicted, broken-hearted, and comforting those who mourn. How have you experienced the personal attention of Jesus — tender love and compassion in your life?

4. Looking at Our World

  • Jesus, the servant messiah was endowed with the Spirit to accomplish our salvation. How might we as Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit reflect the gospel in our words and deeds, wherever God has placed us? Hint: think about love and truth, mercy and justice. 


God’s word is a lamp to our feet. Christ’s teachings are a light to our path. May God’s word take root in our lives. May Christ’s love nourish and sustain us. Amen.

  • View Study Guide Notes

    Question 1

    Question 1a: In this passage, the servant-messiah speaks with tremendous authority, demanding utmost attention of his listeners. We learn that the Lord has anointed this servant-messiah with his Spirit for a special purpose. Firstly, the servant-messiah brings the good news of the Lord’s redemption and restoration to the people afflicted by the political and spiritual upheaval in Israel. This servant-messiah also cares for the individuals. He pays personal attention to the ones who are wounded. He does not break the bruised reed, but offers tender love and compassion. He restores shalom — God’s wholeness, or perfect peace of reconciliation. This servant-messiah proclaims liberty or freedom to the captives. For Zion, the city in ruin reeling under the shadow of Assyria, this meant freedom from captivity. However, the servant-messiah offered more than physical freedom from captivity. He offered spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin and shame. Notice the all-encompassing scope of God’s redemption and restoration — physical and spiritual, to not only Israel, but all the nations of the world.

    Question 2b: According to several commentators, the year of the Lord’s favor proclaimed by the servant-messiah has echoes of the year of Jubilee found in Leviticus 25:8-55. Every 15th year was celebrated as the year of jubilee in Israel during which slaves in captivity were released and debts were canceled. The year of Jubilee was an appointed time in the life of Israel to remember God’s steadfast love — character, care, and concern — for his people. The servant-messiah proclaims the year of God’s favor that is infinitely greater in scope and significance as it encapsulates redemption — physical and spiritual freedom, and restoration of not only Israel, but all the nations of the world. This is a cause for global celebration, and we see Isaiah doing exactly that in verses 10-11. 

    The day of vengeance, like the year of the Lord’s favor, is an appointed time when the servant-messiah will proclaim, accomplish, and establish the righteous justice of the Lord. This ought to invoke fear and trembling among the nations, and lead them to seek the Lord, and trust in the work of his servant-messiah. Notice, the day of vengeance also brings comfort to all who mourn. Imagine the day when the perpetrators of all the injustice, suffering, violence, harm, and atrocities will be brought to justice by God himself. Picture the scene of ineffable comfort and closure the day of vengeance brings to those who have suffered injustice and harm. The day of vengeance points us to the day when Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelations 2:14). Notice the disparity between the year of favor, and the day of vengeance. Does it not show the heart of God towards his image bearers? God’s desire is to save us and not to destroy us. He sent his son to save us, as he loves us. Our sins are many, but praise the Lord, his mercy is more! This hope ought to make us burst out in an exultant song of thanksgiving. Celebrate!

    Question 2: This is a personal application question. Read the last paragraph of summary and connection to see how Jesus fulfills the words of Isaiah in this passage. Furthermore, you can talk about how all the blessings of Jesus are ours. In verse 1 we see the servant-messiah endowed with the Spirit to accomplish God’s will. Jesus’ anointing of the Spirit is our blessing. As Christians, we are not only saved by grace through faith in Jesus, we are also indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In verse 10 Isaiah breaks into a song of thanksgiving. By putting his faith in God’s promises, Isaiah had already tasted the blessing of the age to come. He looked forward to the cross.  However, as Christians we have tasted and seen the Lord is good, and we look back to the cross. We have more reasons than Isaiah to celebrate our salvation — we are clothed with Jesus’ garments of salvation, and we are covered with the robe of Jesus’ righteousness. We experience the year of the Lord’s favor, all the days of our lives, and we anticipate the day of the vengeance of the Lord, not as condemned sinners, but as redeemed saints, united with Christ!

    Question 3: These are personal application questions. Remind your group about God’s grand scheme of redemption and restoration. Oftentimes we are deaf and blind, like the people of Israel, to the reality of God’s presence in our lives. We are oblivious of God’s work in and through us. Our tendency is to be anxious about our present needs and future provision. This passage shows us that God is sovereign and he accomplished what he planned through his servant, Jesus. God, in Jesus, has reconciled us to himself, thereby meeting our deepest need — salvation by grace through faith. In Jesus we have an unshakable assurance that he who did not abandon us while we were dead in sin, will never leave us nor forsake us in the wilderness of life. Encourage your group to not to lose focus of the forest of redemptive history for the trees of our day-day lives. Look to Jesus to find peace in the midst of the storms of your life. Reflect how Jesus has ministered to you in the past. He has an impeccable track record of paying personal attention to us. Hope in faith, and anticipation of God’s presence, strength, and provision in your present situation. Thomas Chisholm’s hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” captures the essence of the gospel hope poignantly: “Pardon for sin, and a peace that endureth. Thine own presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.” And this is worth celebrating!

    Question 4: This is a personal application question.