“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
– Luke 4:18-21
When Jesus stood and read the above words from the book of Isaiah, he was taking ‘old wine’ and turning it into fresh ‘new wine.’ He was alluding to a familiar concept under the Mosaic Law – the Jubilee – but he was giving it new meaning.
Under the Law, every 7th year from the entry of Israel into the ‘Promised Land’ was called a Sabbath Year. During the 6 years leading up to a Sabbath Year, the nation was to sow, cultivate and harvest the land, but during the 7th year – the Sabbath Year – the land was to be allowed to rest. The people had to store up during the previous 6 years to sustain themselves during a Sabbath Year. (Leviticus 25:1-7) The year following the 7th consecutive Sabbath Year – the 50th year – was called a Jubilee. A Jubilee was a year of liberty and freedom. Not only was the land to rest, but all those who had been sold into slavery were to be released; and all hereditary land possessions that had been sold were to be returned to the original owner.
“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.”
– Leviticus 25:10
When Jesus proclaimed the Lord’s Year of Favor,’ it was not a literal Jubilee – a 50th year – as it would have been calculated under the Law. Nevertheless, he was ‘anointed’ to bring in an everlasting Jubilee – ‘to declare good news, to proclaim freedom, to give sight to the blind, to set the oppressed ones free’ for all time. And not just for the Jew, but for all mankind.
Jesus’ proclamation of a Jubilee that began in the 1st century was not temporary or of limited duration. It continues to this day. He offered himself ‘once for all time.’ He truly and permanently set man free.
“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
– Hebrews 10:10
“Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
– John 8:35-36
However, as mentioned in the prior article, Bringing Heaven Down – By Regaining Liberty, mankind relinquished and gave up his liberty, and returned to the servitude of man. As a result, we continued in bondage, of our own making, as the true kingdom message of liberty and freedom as sons of God slumbered.
But now the true good news is stirring again. Man is awakening from his centuries-long stupor. He is coming to realize the plain and open teachings of Jesus and he is pulling against the chains that bind him. And by doing so, he is stimulating the Spirit of Truth to bear witness with his own spirit that he is indeed already free, already a citizen of the heavenly kingdom, and already a member of the household of God. Yes, the son has already set us free, so ‘who can snatch us out of his hands?’
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
– John 10:28-30
Since mankind has fallen asleep and is no longer trying to understand (Hebrews 5:11), it bears repeating in this 21st century – we are no longer poor, captive, blind or crushed. We are free – free sons of God and this is His Year of Favor for all of us to make it manifest!
Do you not feel the freedom in the air? Do you not sense that something is about to happen – something great! There is an abundance of spiritual activity happening around the globe, permeating our homes, our communities, and our nations, but the media is not taking note of those things. Only the recent activities of Pope Francis are getting any worldwide attention. But do not be misled. The future is much brighter than most Christians see it. Just in the last two years, millions have awakened to their sonship. They have turned their eyes, their minds, and their hearts heavenward – to the Kingdom of the Heavens. And in response, the heavens are truly coming down! The Spirit of Truth is roving about, just as it did in the 1st century, seeking to guide, inspire and uplift each individual who will let him in. Our vast celestial family has been stirred to action and is actively supporting these sons in their lives and in their ministry. We know that there are many who are reading these words who know this to be true – literally true!
But if you are not among those who are experiencing these divine inclinations and unmistakable manifestations, this declaration of liberty is for you! Keep on asking, seeking and knocking, and it will be given to you. (Matthew 7:7-8) It will help if we take a fresh look at Jesus’ proclamation of liberty, and explain, in modern terms, what the Jubilee means for man, how it should affect our religious organizations and associations, and how one can grab hold of his God-given, Christ-won liberty.