Leviticus 24:1-25:13; Mark 10:13-16; Psalms 44:23-26; Proverbs 14:13-14
OT: “You are to count seven sabbatical years, seven times seven years, so that the time period of the seven sabbatical years amounts to forty-nine. Then you are to sound a ram’s horn loudly in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month; you will sound it throughout your land on the Day of Atonement. You are to consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom in the land for all its inhabitants. It will be your Jubilee, when each of you is to return to his property and each of you to his clan. The fiftieth year will be your Jubilee; you are not to sow, reap what grows by itself, or harvest its untended vines. It is to be holy to you because it is the Jubilee; you may only eat its produce directly from the field. In this Year of Jubilee, each of you will return to his property.” (Leviticus 25:8-13 CSB)
Every 7th year in Israel was to be a sabbath for the land, where no sowing, cultivation, or harvesting was to take place – to give the land rest. After 7 7-year cycles, the 50th year was to be proclaimed as Jubilee. The ram’s horn was to be blasted loudly and freedom would be proclaimed throughout the land. Slaves and prisoners would be set free and all debts would be forgiven. Everyone’s land would be restored to them, and the mercies of God would be especially manifest. Indebtedness was not perpetual. Enslavement was not forever. Every 50 years, freedom would be proclaimed throughout the land. In Luke 4, we read that Jesus opened the scroll of Isaiah and announced that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He was referring to Jubilee. Jesus, spiritually, was blowing the rams horn and proclaiming freedom to all who would believe in Him.
NT: “People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” After taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16 CSB)
People were bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed by Him, which was a common practice. For some reason, the disciples were standing in the way of the children’s blessing. Maybe they thought they were doing Jesus a favor. Maybe they believed that the children were a waste of Jesus’ time. Whatever the reason, Jesus was indignant. He openly rebuked His disciples for keeping the children from Him. That begs the question, are there people that I think are a waste of my time… people that aren’t worth Jesus’ mercy? When Jubilee was proclaimed, it was proclaimed for all – especially those who were bound and weighed down with an unplayable debt. Jesus then said something key. He said that the kingdom belongs to people to come to Him like a child. We tell children to grow up. Jesus was telling grown-ups to act like children. Not to be childish, but to be child-like: To be humbly dependent, openly receptive, with complete faith in their Father. When we come to Jesus like that, we experience Jubilee and receive the fullness of the Kingdom of God.