Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor…”
It was a practice in the Old Testament to pour oil upon individuals for high offices. Aaron was anointed as High Priest. Saul and David were anointed as kings.
Therefore, to be anointed to accomplish all that is listed in this verse and those following would be read as a high honor. These are the very words that Jesus read before the Jewish leaders and declared them to be fulfilled in Him.
What does anoint mean? David describes Aaron’s anointing as oil being poured over his head so much so that it ran down his beard and running all the way to the edge of his garments.
A Hebrew commentary says that Moses, with his finger, marked Aaron’s forehead with the oil in the sign of the cross, the letter Tav, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The letter Tav literally means “mark.”
The root word for anoint is meshakh. The first letter is the “Mem” which means water or liquid. The second letter is “Shin” which means consume. The last letter, already mentioned, is “Tav” which means mark or sign. It can also mean covenant.
To be anointed is to be marked with a covenant mark, consumed or totally covered by the liquid.
The word “anointing” in anointing oil has a “Hey,” which represents breath or the Holy Spirit, word which represents the Holy Spirit. He is our anointing oil.
The word “Messiah” is anoint with a “Yod” inserted into the word. Yod represents an arm which means that the anointing comes from the arm of God.
So, when James instructed us to anoint someone who was sick it represents a sacred marking of God.
In the Old Testament, when someone was anointed it was for a position or task. It was a divine commissioning. In the New Testament John describes anointing as the Holy Spirit within us; 1 John 2:20,27. When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 He spoke of His commissioning.
Some speak of a worship service or a sermon that was anointed. I have yet to find anywhere in scripture where any moment in time was anointed or words were anointed.
Others will say that someone preaching wasn’t very anointed. Scripturally, what in the world does that mean? If someone has been anointed to preach as in Isaiah 61:1 then that is their commission. They are anointed to do just what they are doing.
Possibly, what they are trying to say is that their message was not very prophetic. Some messages speak to you as if they are the very words of God while other sermons just don’t hit the mark.
The word for “Preach good tidings” in the opening verse means to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth. In what manner have you been commissioned or anointed to preach? Through singing, writing, speaking, teaching, evangelizing, video, painting?