June 23, 2019
I suppose, like me, you’ve known people who have been broken hearted? Most people have. In fact, there can be few hearts in this world that have not been broken, one way or another, at some time. Norah Jones sang, “How many times have you broken my heart?” But romance is not the only way to have your heart broken. It might be through the loss of an opportunity, for which you had longed, or through the loss of a loved one after illness. As the old song says, “Many the heart that is aching…”
When Jesus used the words from Isaiah 61 to identify Himself, (Luke 4:14-21) one of the phrases He omitted was “He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” We need not read too much into this. There is a variant reading of the text that includes it. On the other hand, Jesus may well have been paraphrasing the Greek, Septuagint version. Either way, the phrase surely applies to Christ.
The verb ‘to bind,’ used in Isaiah 61, is a medical term. Tight bandages would be tied around any wound, hoping to staunch the blood flow and so preserve life. The imagery is clear: The Lord’s Servant will wrap strong arms of love around those who have been hurt in the trials of life. He will keep them safe. He will heal them. Spurgeon says, of Jesus, “He deigns to handle and heal broken hearts: He Himself lays on the ointment of grace, and the soft bandages of love, and thus binds up the bleeding wounds of those convinced of sin.”
What a compassionate Savior is Jesus! The Great Physician still calls us to come to Him, there to receive the healing balm of His grace. Aching, broken hearts are mended when they are brought to Him.