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December 16, 2019  

The Jubilee of God
(Advent Series: Because of Bethlehem; Message Three)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

A. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem something incredible happened

“The one enthroned in heaven laughed...” (Psalm 2:4)

1. We’d expect God to be angry because he had to send his Son to pay for our sin

2. No one expects God to laugh, but that’s what the incarnation is all about - a

sign of God’s grace

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5, 14)

B. God’s laughter is contagious: a sign he’s present, in control, and things are well


A. Jubilee is picture of what God’s Kingdom is designed to be (cf. Leviticus 25)

1. Sadly, we never read in Scripture that Israel celebrated a “Year of Jubilee”

2. Jubilee became a “dream” associated with the coming of the Messiah

3. Isaiah says: “You will know who Messiah is because he will bring Jubilee”

B. Isaiah identifies seven signs of Jubilee; i.e., of Messiah’s coming

1. The dead will come alive (i.e., be raised) (Isaiah 11:1-2)

2. The blind will see (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5)

3. The deaf will hear (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5)

4. The lame will walk (Isaiah 35:6, 61:1)

5. The lepers will be cleansed and healed (Isaiah 61:1)

6. The captives will be freed (Isaiah 61:1)
7. The poor will receive Good News (Isaiah 61:1-2)

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to visit me...come take your inheritance, the kingdom [has been] prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:35-36, 34)

C. This is the work of Messiah; these are the days of Jubilee


A. John the Baptizer was born to announce Messiah (Isaiah 40)

“I am not the Christ (Messiah), but am sent ahead of him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. The joy is mine and is now complete.” (John 3:27-30a)

B. In Matthew 11:1-6, John is in prison and loosing hope that Jesus is Messiah

1. The question is “Are you really the Messiah? Has Jubilee really come?

If it has, why doesn't it look like it or feel like it in my life?!”

2. Jesus responds by mentioning six of the seven signs of Messiah/Jubilee

a. He leaves one out. Which one? (“To provide freedom to the captives”)

b. John will pay the ultimate will will all Jesus’ disciples

c. Following Jesus may start in Bethlehem, but it ultimately ends at Calvary


A. In Luke 4, Jesus returns to his hometown to read Scripture: Isaiah 61

1. When Jesus finishes, he says, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”

2. Jesus just declared “the Year of Jubilee.” Only Messiah can do that!

B. We get to bring in the Kingdom; it’s already here but not yet complete

1. We are called to live like Jubilee is already here - it is because Jesus is here

2. Jesus invites us to partner with him to bring life, demand justice,

offer forgiveness and healing, and proclaim Good News


A. John 14:1 - “Jesus said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.’”

B. Luke 2:10-11 - “I bring you Good News of great Joy for all people: a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

September 9, 2019  


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