The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, ... he hath sent me … to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18
Jesus said that. The word translated “bruised” is a word full of emotion. It literally means to be broken to pieces…. Shattered. And in this verse it means broken completely. Like a piece of pottery thrown to the ground and shattered because it no longer has value. But it is not a piece of pottery Jesus is talking about… it is a person. A broken person. A person trapped by circumstances to the point that all seems irreparably lost.
Sometimes life turns a corner into a cul-de-sac of stress, and help seems to have disappeared. The greatest loss is hope. This word "bruised" describes a life so shattered that there seems to be no way to put all the pieces back together. The rest of life seems filled with struggle and darkness. Life becomes prison.
In this passage Jesus didn’t say he came to preach liberty to the bruised, He said He was sent “to set them at liberty.” Putting a life back together is a "hands on" ministry for Jesus. And His graceful skill can bring life from broken pieces. His hands of mercy tenderly form a new life after forgiveness has swept the old life away... and with His touch the prison door is opened... and the journey that never ends begins.
He didn’t come as a physician to the well… He came to the sick… the bruised… the broken. And He is still touching lives today!