Isaiah 61
Visual Commentaries
Isaiah 61 describes a new creation filled with joy and abundance. But for God to set everything right, he must first reverse everything that's wrong.

Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion:

  1. Who is the author of Isaiah 61 writing to? How would this poem act as an encouragement to these particular people? What encouragement does the poet offer to the nations?
  2. In Isaiah 61, the Messiah says that he will proclaim “the year of Yahweh’s favor.” This is a reference to an ancient Israelite practice called the Year of Jubilee. What is the Year of Jubilee (see Lev. 25)? And how does this practice point forward to a renewed creation?
  3. Why is the Jubilee also called “a day of vengeance” in Isaiah 61?
  4. What kind of clothes does the Messiah give to the people? What is the significance of the Messiah giving the people anointing oil in addition to this clothing?
  5. Describe the role that these anointed ones will have in bringing about the restoration of the world.
  6. Read Luke 4:14-21. What do you notice? What is the significance of Jesus launching his public ministry with words from Isaiah 61?
  7. Read Revelation 7:9-10, 21:1-5, and 22:1-5. What parallels with Isaiah 61 do you see in these passages about the new creation and the ultimate Jubilee?

In Isaiah 61, the prophet offers a vision of a restored world where the land is full of abundance and right relationships between people. However, at the time of writing, other kingdoms had conquered Israel and ruled over them. And the Israelites were reduced to a powerless nation full of grief and mourning.

But among those mourning Israelites, there was a small group that never lost hope in God’s promises. This poem was written to encourage that group of people as they await the new creation—a garden with a wedding feast where God’s generous love will be shared with all the world.

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