Jesus walks into a synagogue in his own hometown, Nazareth. He gets up and the reading (whether planned or spontaneous, we are not certain) comes from Isaiah 61 (with a little inter-mingling with Isaiah 58:6). We know the passage well.
Jesus follows up with maybe the shortest sermon in the history of mankind. He simply states: ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’
Before the cross, before the resurrection, before his enthronement next to the Father’s right hand. Right then and there, Jesus, God’s anointed Messiah, tells them this is the time. Fulfilment like they weren’t expecting.
The ‘year of the Lord’s favour’, as quoted, most likely points to that HUGE celebration every 50 years, called the Jubilee. We aren’t really sure if the Israelites ever participated in the event. We don’t read about it after Leviticus 25. But it was to be a year of release, forgiveness, restoration and celebration. All debts were to be obliterated and this would lead to just a bit of celebrating.
Jesus steps into a Nazarene synagogue and says the time is fulfilled (not unlike Mark’s report in 1:14-15 where Jesus says the time is fulfilled and the rule of God has come).
For every Jew, and only Jews or Jewish converts would be hanging out in a synagogue, this was music to their ears. Good news proclaimed to the destitute of life, captives released, oppressed liberated, the year of Jubilee is upon us. You can imagine why they responded this way – All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.
Imagine getting a letter from your mortgage company, after only 3 years into the 30+ year mortgage, stating that the final amount on your mortgage will not need to paid, EVER. Don’t worry about that final $200,000.
You probably wouldn’t respond with a golf clap and a quaint thank you. It’s more likely you’d be running out into the street shouting. Released from that amount of debt!
It was Jubilee time for God’s people. The evangel always begins with God’s people, transforms them, and them moves them out to announce it to all other image bearers whom the Father is calling.
It’s that time. It’s that year. Jubilee is upon us. All debts gone. All captives liberated. All children coming back to the satisfied Father. Why not celebrate it and announce it?! I mean really celebrate it. Our celebration might just be our announcement.
You can hear more by listening to this 30-minute teaching from iTunes or clicking on the icon below.