Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we pointed out that the Lord Jesus began His ministry by proclaiming the jubilee of grace. In the word of 4:19, He proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord. This is the New Testament age typified by the year of jubilee (Lev. 25:8-17). The year of jubilee was the fiftieth year, the conclusion of a half century. Thus, according to the book of Leviticus, at the end of every half century there was to be a year called the year of jubilee and also called the acceptable year. The acceptable year signifies the year for the Lord to accept people. In chapter sixty-one of Isaiah there is a prophecy concerning the fulfillment of this jubilee.
It is not likely that before Luke 4 the Jews understood Isaiah’s word concerning the acceptable year of the Lord. One day the Lord Jesus entered into the synagogue and read from Isaiah 61 regarding the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year is the jubilee of Jehovah.
A half century signifies the length of the fallen human life. Fifty years is the length of the entire life of a fallen person. In Psalm 90:10 Moses said that the days of our years are threescore years and ten, and by reason of strength they may be fourscore years. According to Moses, the length of human life is seventy years. If someone is strong, he may live to the age of eighty. According to the Bible, in one sense a person’s life may be regarded as beginning at the age of thirty, the age at which a priest began to function. Even the Lord Jesus was thirty years old when He began to minister (3:23). Thirty plus fifty equals eighty. Hence, a half century, fifty years, signifies the length of a person’s life in the fallen nature. As the fiftieth year, the year of jubilee is the conclusion of our entire fallen life.
What happened to us in our fallen life? We lost our birthright, sold ourselves into captivity, and became slaves. We lost everything, including our birthright and our status.
A person who has not lost anything would not look forward to the year of jubilee. In fact, to such a one, the jubilee might be a suffering. But the one who has lost everything, including his land and himself, would surely look forward to the year of jubilee. When the year of jubilee came, he would rejoice at being released and recovering the right to his portion of the land.
Every Israelite was allotted a portion of the good land. The good land typifies Christ. Therefore, to lose one’s right to the good land is to lose the right to enjoy Christ. Every fallen human being has lost the right to enjoy God as the tree of life and the right to enjoy Christ as the good land. Furthermore, every fallen one has sold himself to sin, the world, and Satan. In Romans 7:14 Paul said of himself, “I am fleshly, sold under sin.” Even Paul had become a slave to sin.
All fallen people have lost their right to enjoy Christ and have sold themselves to negative things. But the year of jubilee indicates that we can be released from bondage and recover the right to enjoy Christ as our portion.
After the Lord Jesus, the Man-Savior, had been tested, He began to minister. At the start of His ministry He declared the jubilee, the acceptable year of the Lord. This indicates that the entire New Testament age is actually a single year, the year of jubilee, the year for Jehovah to accept fallen human beings.
The proclamation of the jubilee is the real gospel, the rich and whole gospel. A partial gospel tells people that they are sinners destined for hell, but Jesus loved them and died on the cross for them, and that if they believe in Him they will have eternal life. This is only a part of the jubilee. The jubilee is a proclamation of release from slavery and of the recovery of our spiritual birthright. This jubilee is the acceptable year of the Lord.
According to chapter four of the Gospel of Luke, the Lord Jesus proclaimed the jubilee on a particular Sabbath day in Galilee. But during the centuries that have followed, the jubilee has been neglected. Therefore, we need a recovery of the New Testament jubilee.
We have been recovered to the enjoyment of the Triune God as the tree of life and of Christ as our land, our portion. The good land is actually more mysterious than the tree of life, for the good land is the fulfillment of the tree of life. Adam did not eat of the fruit of the tree of life, but the children of Israel partook of the riches of the good land. Today we are enjoying the Triune God as the tree of life, and, even the more, we are enjoying Christ as the good land. Praise the Lord that we have an allotment of this good land! According to Colossians 1:12, this allotment is the portion of the saints. This proves that our birthright, which had been lost, has been recovered in the New Testament jubilee.
In the jubilee we also have been released from bondage. Once we were captives, but we have been released from slavery and brought back to the freedom of the glory of the children of God. This is a further indication that we are in the New Testament jubilee.
According to Leviticus 25, in the year of jubilee everyone was restored to his original condition. Since the New Testament age is the real year of jubilee, this means that God will restore us to our original condition. In Adam we became lost, and we sold ourselves to sin as slaves. But now Jesus, the Man-Savior, has come, and He has brought in the acceptable year of the Lord. This acceptable year of the Lord is, in the New Testament, the fulfillment of the Old Testament jubilee. In this year we are released, and our lost birthright is recovered, redeemed, and restored.
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