top of page

What does it mean to proclaim good news to the poor?

The prophet Isaiah described the Messiah's God-ordained role to serve the needs of the underprivileged in Isaiah 61:1-3. The LORD has anointed me to preach the good news to the needy, so the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, he said. He has sent me to comfort the grieving, proclaim freedom to the captives, and bring prisoners out of the shadow of death (Isaiah 61:1).

The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to announce good news to the needy. Seven hundred years later, Jesus Christ began His public ministry by preaching from this precise text, applying Isaiah's words to Himself. He has sent me to "announce the year of the Lord's favour, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim liberation for the imprisoned and the restoration of sight for the blind" (Luke 4:18–19). Having identified Himself as the expected Messiah and Servant-King who would bring good news to the impoverished, Jesus finished by saying, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21).

A positive report is considered to be "good news." To "proclaim good news" is to communicate an optimistic message regarding significant recent events. Euangelizomai is the Greek verb used to describe this action. This word was specifically used by the New Testament authors to refer to the gospel's preaching or proclamation (evangelion). Promoting the good news entails spreading the word of God's plan for the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, in order to redeem sinful humanity. Our English word "evangelise" comes from the Greek verb euangelizomai. The message that the kingdom of God has come to earth in the person of God's own Son, who brings with Him the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life, is what we proclaim as the good news or evangelise (Matthew 4:23; Romans 10:15).

The term "the poor" was used in the Old Testament to refer to people who had no inheritance, were socially and financially disadvantaged, or who were oppressed, disenfranchised, and destitute. The impoverished were dependent on powerful people, terrible conditions, and helplessness.

The people who depend on God are also considered to be "the destitute." Particularly in the Psalms, the idea of poverty is used both literally and metaphorically to indicate reliance on God as the provider, deliverer, and Savior of the poor (Psalm 12:6; 35:10; 102:17; 116:6). In the New Testament, "the poor" refers to both those who are poor and those who are humble and who put their faith in God. God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours, the Lord declares in the opening of Jesus Christ's famous Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20, NLT). People who see their own spiritual poverty and their great need for God are those who are described as being "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). They turn to God and accept the richest blessings He kindly offers through faith in Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist wrote to Jesus from his cell to inquire about if He was the anticipated Messiah of Israel. "Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: The lame walk, the blind see, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor," Jesus said (Luke 7:22). One of the resounding indicators of Jesus' Messiahship was the fact that He preached good news to the underprivileged (Matthew 11:2).

Jesus Christ's entire mission was to bring the good news of salvation to the underprivileged. He is a Savior who provides for the poor's material and spiritual needs. Furthermore, He completely satisfies them (Luke 1:53; 6:20–21; Matthew 5:6).


Spread God's Words

bottom of page