Jesus proclaimed that through him, “today” was God’s new day - fulfilling God’s promise to restore all that is broken. Through Jesus, led by the Spirit, each one of us is released to play our part in that restoration. Now is the time to reset.
In Luke’s gospel we see Jesus (4:16-22), at the beginning of his ministry, announcing that he is the one foretold by the prophet Isaiah (61).
He [Jesus] stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“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 favour.”
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.”
Often called Jesus’ manifesto, this passage reveals Jesus, at the beginning of his ministry announcing that he is the one foretold by Isaiah (61). The one who will bring God’s release from oppression and bring God’s Jubilee restoration (“the year of the Lord’s favour”, v19) in our relationships with God, ourselves, creation, and each other.
The essence of Jubilee (Leviticus 25) is God’s inspired vision to interrupt the status quo. A reset, embedded in the way of life for God’s redeemed and liberated people, emphasising the relationships between humanity, creation and God.
Within the reality of life in a world of broken relationships, jubilee is an expression of God’s desire for all of creation to flourish. It is radical and countercultural and it is prophetic - then and now. It is a model for a community living well according to God’s will so that they can thrive as individuals and as a community and, in so doing, shine as light to the rest of the world.
In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus is identifying himself as the Messiah and the fulfillment of Jubilee - through Jesus, ‘today’ was God’s new day – fulfilling God’s promise to restore all that is broken. Today, as we empower individuals and communities facing poverty to unlock their God-given potential, we see God at work, transforming lives and restoring relationships so that all creation can flourish.