COMFORT IN TRIALS
Announcing the Gospel to Proclaim the Acceptable Year of the Lord, the Year of Jubilee
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of jubilee.”
The Jubilee Being An Age of Ecstasy
for Our Salvation
The Chinese term for jubilee as “everything being to one’s satisfaction.” In the jubilee all things are pleasant and satisfying to our heart, and we are free from anxiety, at ease, excited, and exultant. In English the word jubilee denotes a rejoicing, a joyful shouting. The Hebrew word for jubilee is yobel, which means “a joyful noise,” “a shouting with the blasting of a trumpet,” and “a proclamation.” It is a proclamation not of sorrow or lamentation but of the gospel, the good news of great joy. The year of jubilee is that in that year every owner was returned to his lost possession, and everyone who had sold himself as a slave regained his freedom. Those who had lost their possession and had become slaves must have danced and been in ecstasy when they heard the blast of the horn, the silver trumpet, proclaiming the jubilee.
We must now consider what man’s possession is. The first chorus of Hymns, #1080 says, “Vanity! Vanity! / Vanity! Vanity! / ’Tis chasing the wind, / It’s all vanity!” The last chorus says, “Christ without, all is vain! / Christ within, all is gain! / All things are vain, / Christ only is gain!” Man without Christ is vain. Hence, man’s real possession is not land or a house, and neither is it a wife or children; man’s possession is God.
Everything Being to Our Satisfaction When We Have God
Today all men have lost God as their possession, and they have no real dwelling place. Fallen people are all drifting about and wandering without a home. Although they may live in high-rise buildings or large mansions, within them there is no rest, no dwelling place. Man is wandering because he has lost God.
As Paul says in Ephesians 2:12, we were apart from Christ, having no hope and without God in the world. Today, however, we are no longer apart from Christ. Rather, we are in Christ. We have God, and we “turn on the switch” to enjoy God as our possession. The jubilee is altogether related to our possession, and our possession is God. When we have God, we have the jubilee; when we have God, everything is to our satisfaction.
Preaching the Gospel to the world
Being the Proclamation of God’s Jubilee
Our preaching of the gospel is our blowing of the trumpet of redemption to proclaim to the world, “Behold, now is the well-acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” the year of jubilee (2 Cor. 6:2). Though man has fallen far from God, God is waiting for him, longing for his return.
The jubilee in the Bible is the age of the gospel, which is this age. Once we repent and turn to God by receiving the Lord Jesus, we obtain God within. This is the beginning of our jubilee. From that day onward, our whole life is a jubilee, and we enjoy the jubilee forever. We can continually enjoy God as our possession. We thank and praise the Lord that our jubilee will be richer and richer from now unto eternity. This is the meaning of the possession of the jubilee. (CWWL, 1984, vol. 4, “The Jubilee,” ch. 2)
Oh, Lord Jesus, praise You that You are my real possession. Although it may be unpleasant and unsatisfying outside, When we have You, we have the jubilee; when we have You, everything is to our satisfaction. Lord, deepen my enjoyment of You, cause me to enjoy you to the point of being beside myself, preach the Gospel to the world and to proclaim the acceptable year of You, the year of jubilee.