Good news to the poor; release to the captives; recovery of sight to the blind; freedom for the oppressed. This is not a file it and forget it kind of mission statement. This isn’t something Jesus put on a PowerPoint or stuck on a webpage somewhere and then never went back to it. In Matthew’s Gospel, John the Baptist brings Jesus back to it. He sent his own disciples to Jesus to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” And Jesus answers him by saying, in effect, check out my mission statement. He says, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.” [Matthew 11:2-6] How do we know that Jesus is the Messiah? Because he is doing what the Messiah is supposed to do. Jesus gives us the metrics. His mission can be measured. It can be proved or disproved by what we hear and see.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The 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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”