Rest, Release, and Restoration: Jesus’s Sabbath-Jubilee Mission in the Gospel of Luke

Lukan studies have identified this Gospel as one whose narrative structure displaces the privileged and powerful from their positions and elevates the poor and marginalized. This great reversal is due to the person and work of Jesus, who has concern for those whom society has cast aside, yet the precise character of this reversal has not been settled and tends to be selective and limited. This paper approaches the inauguration of Jesus’s ministry in Luke 4 as wholistic reversal in the Gospel, and this is evidenced by the subsequent Sabbath healings in the Gospel as the implementation of the Jubilee. The Year of the Lord’s Favor from Isaiah 61 declared to be fulfilled in Jesus is good news for the oppressed both spiritually and corporeally, and the Sabbath accounts demonstrate this as Jesus brings wholistic restoration to the powerless. Examining the context of Leviticus 25 alongside Isaiah 58 and 61 underscores the eschatological Year of Jubilee present in the ministry of healing in Jesus. The subsequent Luke-specific Sabbath pericopes particularly emphasize the release of Jubilee both in terms of the spiritual state without neglecting their tangible distress and subjugation. This Lukan motif results in the rest of wholistic liberation. The Levitical Year of Jubilee has extensive implications for the oppressed, and this is not only caught up in Isaiah but in the program of Luke. Understanding the thorough nature of Jubilee as a spiritual and material restoration in the Luke-specific Sabbath accounts provides insight into the character of mission in Luke and suggests a more integrated approach to release and restoration in this Gospel.

3 thoughts on “Rest, Release, and Restoration: Jesus’s Sabbath-Jubilee Mission in the Gospel of Luke”

  1. Themes of YOJ
    I think the year of Jubilee is a very neglected topic, as I am aware, and I think that it may be interesting to hear where this paper goes. I wasn’t a fan of the abstract since it just seemed to jump in and get into the weeds, but the theme might be good.

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