Manifesto – Part 3

mountain garden

Luke 4 v 19. “……to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”

This is another statement of what Jesus came to do: His ministry was the proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favour. The declaration that God’s grace is available to lost sinners.

This phrase is rooted in the Old Testament idea of a Jubilee year. This was the practice that after every seven years there would be a Jubilee year when everyone’s debts would be forgiven, all property would be returned and all slaves set free.

That is what Jesus came to do. He came to cancel all the debts of our sins. What are our sins? Apart from the obvious and gross acts which all right-thinking people would condemn, the sinfulness of the human being goes further than that. Most human hearts have no sense of gratitude or obligation to God for the gift of life, for health, or amenable circumstances. Instead we have an inner culture of entitlement and presumption upon God. We are all in debt. We need a rescuer. And that is what Jesus came to do. He came to rescue us. To pay our debts. To do something about the global crises of spiritual blindness and spiritual poverty. He finally sent his followers into the world to face the physical and Spiritual needs of the day with the love, compassion and message of hope that He brings.

Sometimes we encounter people who feel they have no spiritual need at all. When they compare themselves with their friends, they feel they are not doing too badly. But we need to think about God and ask ourselves, how good do I need to be to be acceptable to Him?

The answer is simple. It is impossible. In a spiritual and moral sense you will always be in debt. You need someone to bail you out, to rescue you.

Jesus came to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. That favour is extended to you today. Even if you are a Christian but feel like a spiritual wreck, remember in Christ you do not have a proclamation of condemnation but a declaration of the Lord’s favour.

 

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