The Jubilee in Person

Steven Rodriguez

Read: Luke 4:16-30

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (vv. 18-19)

In Leviticus 25, the Lord commands the Israelites to celebrate, every fifty years, a special year called the Jubilee year. It’s like a year-long super Sabbath. During this special year, the people are commanded to “proclaim liberty” (v. 10). This liberty takes many forms. The land is liberated by a year of no farming. Property is liberated and given back to its ancestral owners. Debtors are liberated from their crushing debts. Slaves are liberated and sent home to their families.

In Luke 4, when Jesus walked into his hometown synagogue in Nazareth and preached from Isaiah 61, he was basically announcing a Jubilee. But he wasn’t just talking about a special year. Because the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, Jesus was claiming to be the Jubilee in person. The Lord of time stepped into time to redeem time. When we follow Jesus, we are obeying the deepest meaning of the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day” (Exod. 20:8). We are following not just the Sabbath, but the Lord of the Sabbath, the one to whom the Sabbath points as a sign. It is in him that we find our Sabbath rest and our Jubilee freedom.

What are some ways that you are fighting against this truth, pretending that you are still enslaved to sin or that you owe God something? What are the ways that you need to be set free by Jesus the Jubilee? —Steven Rodriguez

Prayer: Jesus, help me to remember you, my Sabbath rest and my Jubilee freedom.