To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:19 NASB)
This verse may not seem like much at first glance, but it is an allusion to the Year of Jubilee. According to the Law, every fiftieth year was to be a year of Jubilee. Any land that had been sold reverted back to the original owners. Slaves were to be freed in the year of Jubilee. If a Jew sold himself to a stranger (foreigner), he could be redeemed by a kinsman redeemer at any time, but in the year of Jubilee, he was released, no matter what. Once redeemed or released in the year of Jubilee, these former slaves would return to full status in their family. They returned to family land as if they'd never been away.
Christ said He had come to proclaim a jubilee year. He was releasing those who were slaves (to sin) and restoring them to full status in the family of God. What a word picture of Grace! Those who had been enslaved longer or who had done worse "slave tasks" have equal to those who did not. It's the idea that house slaves and field slaves were restored to the same status as the family that had owned them. What a miraculous turnaround!
We, too, were once slaves to sin and death, but Christ has redeemed us and proclaimed Jubilee liberty for us. We are not just released, but also restored.
Pray today that our dearly loved ones will accept both the Jubilee release He offers and the restoration He brings as well. Pray that we will have the grace to accept them back in the same spirit of Jubilee.