Luke 4:14-21 (NIV)
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 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. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
When Jesus proclaimed that the “year of the Lord’s favor” was upon them, the people wondered what He meant. Was He referring to the “year of Jubilee”? But everyone knew that it was not that special year which occurred every fifty years. No, it was not the time to leave their farmlands unattended, so that the destitute can pick the fruits. It was neither the time for the homeless who lost their land to get it back, nor for the slaves to gain their freedom. It certainly was not the time for the poor to have their debts cancelled. So how could Jesus announce that this was the “year of the Lord’s favor?” While it was not the year of Jubilee, Jesus was bringing God’s favor in a new way - restoration, healing and salvation. He was the good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, healing for the sick, and much more. Greater than the year of Jubilee, it was a declaration that Jesus, the true Jubilee, the favor of God had come.
The year of the Lord’s favor is upon us today. His salvation, healing and freedom have not decreased. We can continue to increase in our worship because His proclamations continue to be fulfilled in our hearing. How else can we respond to this great news? Let’s praise and thank God for pouring out His favor upon us, and let’s pray and ask Him to increase His salvation, healing and freedom among us.