Lk.4:18,19 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he has anointed me to be hope for the poor, freedom for the brokenhearted, and new eyes for the blind, and to preach to prisoners, ‘You are set free!’ I have come to share the message of Jubilee, for the time of God’s great acceptance has begun.
The words that Jesus spoke that day in the synagogue in Nazareth were incredibly prophetic. He was obviously announcing the beginning of His healing and deliverance ministry that would shock Israel over the next three years. He was announcing something even more significant. He was announcing the fulfillment of the Year of Jubilee. Every fifty years the Jewish people celebrated the Year of Jubilee. It was a year of incredible freedom for all of the jewish people marked by ending all debt and giving all land back to the original family ownership. Here are the practices from Jubilee as listed in the EASTON BIBLE DICTIONARY.
“1. It would prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the detriment of the community at large. (All land restored to original family) 2. It would render it impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time, preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians, and preserve the theocracy inviolate.”
Jesus was announcing that His ministry would fulfill the conditions of Jubilee. In essence, He was announcing the end of spiritual slavery. All of us were born into slavery. Our taskmaster was the devil. We were owned and dominated by Him. The slavery of sin has been broken off of our lives, all the prisoners have been set free. It may do us good as a people to have a look at the conditions of Jubilee. Every fifty years property is returned to its original family, all debts are canceled, it would effect the class consciousness that we have, and it would give people a brand new start. Jesus has done all of that and more for us. He has cancelled our debt of sin, He has liberated us from slavery, and He has given us the family inheritance of sons and daughters of God. I like the sound of that.