We were all excited! Driving down to Ft. Lauderdale early in the morning, anticipating our cruise was making us all punchy! We pulled into the parking lot and were directed to a spot towards the back, when we saw them. Monkeys! Two adult monkeys and a baby were sitting there looking at us. At this point there was no way that I was getting out of the car. Monkeys scare me. Then we noticed that there were several more and they were encircling us. Visions of “Planet of the Apes” were flooding into my brain. As we made our escape into the shuttle, we found out the story of the monkeys.
Several years ago, the monkeys (African Vervet) were at a research foundation that used them in a breeding facility and a tourist attraction that was open to the public. The story told to me by the shuttle driver was that a fire occurred at the tourist attraction and the monkeys escaped into the mangroves around them. I’m still having flashbacks of “Planet of the Apes”! Many years later, here they are thriving in those same mangroves.
My eyes teared up as I heard the story about those monkeys. Their escape to freedom reminded me of Psalm 124:7, “Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped.” I couldn’t help but think of that moment when they made the decision to escape from their captivity to their freedom. What fear they must have felt as the fire surrounded them in that moment when you have no other option but the one that creates a new life.
When we accept Yeshua as our Messiah we are given a new life in Him, and that new life is one of a free person and not of a captive. In Luke 4:18-19 Yeshua reads prophetic verses (Isaiah 61:1-2, Isaiah 42:7) to those in the synagogue which tells us what His purpose is, “The Spirit of the L-rd is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the L-rd.” As we study these verses we will be looking at the Hebrew and the Greek to dig down deep at what the Lord is trying to show us.
First of all, “the gospel” in the Greek is “eugangelisasthai” meaning “good news” and in the Hebrew it is “basar”, meaning “to bear tidings.” So, He is bringing us good news that we should pay attention to because it will be beneficial to us. Also, the L-rd didn’t come just for the financially poor, He came for the poor in spirit. In Isaiah 61:1, the word for afflicted is “anav” which means, poor, afflicted, humble, and meek. So whether you are rich or poor, we all have a spiritual poverty that He has been anointed to attend to. There are five points, in these two verses that are declarations that Yeshua is making of Himself. Let’s take a look at them:
Those monkeys we talked about in the beginning left their captivity and started a new life in those mangroves. Generations later we saw them flourishing in their freedom and their offspring not even knowing about captivity! Let’s accept Messiah’s offer for freedom from captivity and live as free men!