Monday, May 23, 2005

Jesus, Our Jubilee

Many have discoursed on exactly what “the acceptable year of the Lord” may have meant. Some have drawn a connection between this and the practice of jubilee. I will not attempt to go into the hermeneutics involved in making this connection, but I do think that the idea of jubilee fits with the message of Jesus and wish to spend some time thinking about it.

For an explanation of Jubilee read Leviticus 25. Basically, if observed, it would be one of the strangest practices ever seen in modern civilization. It was a total upsetting of the social structure. It would not allow Israel to develop a society where the rich take advantage of the poor. All land was returned to a previous owner; slaves were freed. They were commanded to blow the trumpet and “proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.” Now, think. Isn’t that why Jesus came? Didn’t He come to set wrongs right, free the captive and proclaim liberty from the bondage of sin? Of course He did!

Christ’s is a Kingdom of Jubilee. Those who have, share with those who do not have. There is no gap between rich and poor. This radical society, this counter or sub-culture is such an upset of the social structure we see in our materialistic and self-centered society. Yet, does anybody actually see this in the church? Sadly, the bride of Christ has gone the way of Israel (of whom nobody is sure how many times they actually kept jubilee) who in its rush to “be like the nations” has adopted a social hierarchy. The message of the Kingdom that the church must spread is so much more than the church is living. Instead of being a radical minority in this world the church has institutionalized and come to control the power structures. Please, lets start living Christ’s message of Jubilee!

PS. Inspiring thoughts from J. C. Arnold.

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