Jubilee was a very rare word. It was the Hebrew word for a ram's horn. The Jews were instructed to fashion a trumpet out of the horn of a wild ram, and this was to be so sacred that it was to be played only once every fifty years. Then there would be Jubilee. During Jubilee, three things would happen.
First, all debts were canceled. Anyone who had been living under bondage of debt would be freed. This expressed God's heart for the poor. ...
In the Jubilee Year, God says there will be a fresh start for those who are poor®for those who are likely to be sitting on the sidelines. In case anybody missed the intent, or might try to circumvent it, or think it was just a matter of mechanics, God goes on: Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought. The year for canceling debts is near so that you show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart. Then, because of this, your God will bless you. ''Deuteronomy 15:7-10'' In the Jubilee Year, debt is forgiven.
The second thing that happens in the Jubilee Year is all prisoners are released. Now, in our day, this doesn't sound like good news, because we think of people who are in prison for really bad things, and we're not sure we would want them all to be released. In the Old Testament days, about the only thing they locked you up for was debt. For almost anything else, they would stone you. If you talked back to your mom and dad, they'd get the stones out. Jubilee Year meant the prisoners were going to go free.
Third, in the Jubilee Year, all the land was supposed to go back to its original owner. Now in the ancient day, far more than in our day when economics are much more complex, wealth was tied to land. If you were in a family where your dad or your grandfather had become sick, or done something wrong, or made a mistake, or been the victim of injustice and your family lost its ability to own land, that was it. You were out of luck. Jubilee meant hope for the poor.
You might wonder, what was the rationale for all of this? This is what God says: The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine, and you are but aliens and tenants. ''Leviticus 25:23'' ...
There is only one problem with the Jubilee Year. They never actually observed it. The best we can tell, it was never actually observed. ...
You know, God hasn't given up on this Jubilee idea yet. It's a good idea. It's God's idea. We can't pull it off ourselves, but it is going to happen. It's going to happen when Messiah comes. When Messiah comes, He will proclaim the Jubilee, and He will make it stick. For instance, the Prophet Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would say:
And they waited. Year after year, decade after decade, century after century ,they waited.
Finally, this rabbi named Jesus comes. He's going to give His very first sermon. He goes back to His hometown and enters the synagogue. The people are all gathered; they've known Him since He was a little kid. He takes the scroll, turns to these words in Isaiah 61, and then He reads them to the people:
Then He rolls up the scrolls. The Scripture says that all eyes are fixed on Him. Then He sets them aside. He sits down, because that's what rabbis did. He says:
What He's saying is:
And it's come in some unexpected ways. Not only is it here for Israel. He makes it real clear that it's also here for their enemies, the Gentiles.
By: John Ortberg
Category: Jesus Rejected at Nazareth