In order for us to understand the significance of these words in Isaiah 61, we need to understand two things. Who is ‘me’ and what is ‘the year of the Lord’s favour.’ The first is simple to answer, ‘me’ is Jesus, the son of God.
The second needs a bit more explanation. You can read more about it in Leviticus 25, but in short, 'the year of the Lord's favour', also known as the Year of Jubilee, was an event which occurred once every 50 years. In this year all debts were cancelled and all slaves were made free. That’s pretty incredible! It was a year when everything was reset, society was equalised and the Israelites rested and trusted in God’s provision for all their needs.
Now we know a bit more about the Year of Jubilee, let’s look back at the verse:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour."
We know that the ‘me’ in this passage refers to Jesus, so what does it mean that he came to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour?
Well, Jesus did not come to tell people about the Year of Jubilee-they already knew about it and had been obeying it for thousands of years. What it means is that Jesus IS the Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee meant equality in a financial and material sense, but the coming of Jesus meant more than this. He came to forgive our debts and make us free.
Jesus is more than just a year of the Lord’s favour, he’s a lifetime's worth. Spend some time today praising and thanking God for his goodness to us in sending Jesus.
We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days.