At the outset of His ministry, Jesus went into the tabernacle in his hometown of Nazareth, was given the scroll of the book of Isaiah, opened it and read this passage: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” This was His “theme statement.” It was the opening declaration of what His mission on earth was to be. Isaiah’s prophetic utterance is based on the decree of Leviticus 25, the institution of the year of Jubilee. Jesus shows that that concept of freedom and celebration was to be the hallmark of His ministry and of His kingdom.
Why have Christians today gotten away from this wonderful theme of freedom and healing? In our new book, “Give Me Liberty: Restoration of the Spirit of Jubilee,” Bill Van Dyke and I explore this question. In doing so, we contrast the constraining, oppressive bonds of legalism with the freedom of divine grace and love and issue a plea for a return – a restoration – of God’s people to our eternally intended heritage of genuine spiritual liberty.