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 broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. —Luke 4:18
Those of you who have been following the Kid’s Corner for many months, will know that we have been looking at the five kinds of people listed in Luke 4:18 that our Lord was sent to minister to. The last kind of person is said to be bruised. You have probably heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” You may have spoken it yourself to someone who said something unkind to you. But we all know it isn’t true. Words can hurt us, sometimes more deeply and with longer-lasting effect than a physical attack. Words don’t leave black-and-blue marks on our skin, but they can hurt our hearts and make us feel bruised and sore inside.
That is the kind of bruising the Lord was talking about in Luke 4:18. The bruised people He came “to set at liberty” have wounds in their hearts. Maybe they carry the memory of insensitive or mocking words. Or maybe their spirits are bruised and battered by the nagging memory of a past sin or failure. Maybe they are hurting because of sad things that have happened to them. Sometimes other people don’t know that these people are hurting inside, but the Lord knows and He cares.
It’s not difficult to trace man’s tendency to hurt himself and to hurt other people back to the sin committed by Adam in the garden of Eden. The painful truth is that because Adam sinned against God, suffering and death entered our world. Our sin bruises us often and in many ways. The earth, the animals, and all the people who live in this world are under God’s curse. Sin has caused disease and decay in everything and everyone.
But the bright promise is that the Lord took pity on our bruised and broken state. By dying as a worthy sacrifice to save us from our sin, He sets us free from our sentence of doom. By His death and resurrection He replaces it with the glorious, liberating promise of eternal life. And if our bruising is the result of things other people have done to us, the Lord has comfort and healing for those wounds as well. Are you bruised and broken today? Trust the Lord as the only One who can and will set you free.
By Brian Forrester