Jesus, our Jubilee
Reading: Luke 4: 18-19
Additional reading: Leviticus 25: 8-22, Lev 25: 3-5, Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19, Leviticus 25:1-28, Mark 2:23-28
Blanks: forty-nine, jubilee, return, crops, safely
(1) One time, Jesus explained his ministry like this:
“The Spirit of God is on me.
God has anointed me to tell good news to the poor.
God has sent me to set the prisoners free.
God has sent me to have the blind people see again.
God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly.
God sent me to announce the year of the God’s favor.”
What is the year of the God’s favor?
It is the year of Jubilee.
Do you know what is jubilee?
Let me explain:
For our spiritual life, resting is very important.
(1) So, in the Old Testament, God wants Jewish people to rest regularly.
God asked them to rest on the seventh day.
So, remembering God, they should not work.
Their people should not work, either.
God also asked them to rest on every 7th year as well.
Every 7th year is called the year of Sabbath.
So, for the whole year, they should not work on their land.
They needed to rest and let their people rest for one year.
Can you imagine this?
It is like every seventh year, you don’t go to school and your parents don’t go to work.
Nice, huh? Or would it be too boring?
Likewise, they rest on the forty-ninth year: 7*7=49.
You can understand why, right?
But then God asked them to rest on the 50th year, as well.
So, they rest for two consecutive years: forty-ninth and fiftieth.
God promised that they would have enough food, because God would give a great harvest in the 48th year.
Also, they could eat whatever the land naturally produced.
The 50th year is called the year of Jubilee.
In jubilee, there is a special law that they need to practice in order to help each other live peacefully in their lands.
It is like this.
(1) Let’s say that there are four families: the family A, B, C, and D.
Then in the year 30th, B needed some money.
(2) So, the family B sold their land to the family A.
Then in the 40th year, C and D also needed some money.
(3) So they sold their lands to the family A.
But when the family A bought their lands, A only bought the permission to use the land and produce crops until the Jubilee.
So, what happened in the year 50th on Jubilee?
(4) The family A returns the land to its original owner.
So, B, C, and D receive their lands back for free.
This is the redemption of the lands sold.
During the jubilee, all the lands go back to its original owners.
So, everyone can have their own land back for free.
Then they can have a new start for their new life.
God asked them to practice this law because the land was very important to make a living at that time.
If they can have their own land like this, they can relax and rest properly.
Together they need to practice this law for the benefit of all generations. Then every generation could have a new chance to use their land.
Every generation could have an equal opportunity to use the land.
Then, they would have less poor people in their land.
So, the family A could not say on the year 50th:
“Oh, well, I just decided to keep all the lands for myself.”
No, they cannot do that.
Because the land belongs to God.
God made the land.
God is the ultimate owner.
So, God says:
“Share the lands like this.
You are not going to stay here forever.
You are here for awhile and you will be gone.
So, share the lands like this.”
That is jubilee.
Jesus also wants to proclaim jubilee.
But because Jesus is God, Jesus can do something more.
Jesus can proclaim spiritual jubilee.
Jesus can free people physically, socially, and spiritually.
Yes, Jesus can redeem people spiritually.
Then, in order to free people spiritually, Jesus forgives people.
If they are forgiven, they can have a new life.
So, Jesus wants to free people from their sin.
How can he do that?
He needed to die to pay the price of our sin.
Since we cannot obtain our forgiveness, even if we die for our sin, Jesus died for us on the cross to obtain the perfect forgiveness.
Then he rose back again and said:
“Now you are truly reconciled with God.
Now you can have the everlasting peace, everlasting forgiveness and everlasting rest through Jesus Christ.”
Jesus also wants to heal people inside out.
You know, if they have a new heart, they can truly live a new life.
So, Jesus gave people the Holy Spirit.
Then the Holy Spirit will create in them a new heart.
Then people can be merciful to each other.
They will share what they have.
They will share their portion in life.
Then other people can also find their resources that are given by God.
They can find their opportunity to use their talent and contribute.
Then, even the poor can find their own portion of blessings.
Then they can share their own resources with others.
Then because everyone’s experiencing God’s generosity like this, it will be much easier for them to love each other as God loves them.
Like this, Jesus wants to free people physically, socially and spiritually so that they may find rest in him.
God wants to give us rest.
So, we need to rest and give each other rest.
Then we get to know God more, understand God more, and experience God more.
Usually, when we rest, we hear God, too.
So, try to rest regularly.
So, think about these questions.
How do you rest?
What do you do to rest?
How do you find rest in Jesus Christ?
If you rest well, you can enjoy your time with God and grow spiritually.
Jesus, thank you for all your works in our life.
Thank you for forgiving us.
And thank you for giving us good rest.
So, help us to love your people, by giving people rest.
Then as we rest in you, help us to love you and your people, as you love us.
In your name, we pray, amen.