Biblical Economics

8. The Ongoing Jubilee

esus's promise of a jubilee was fulfilled within only three years, when his own disciples, without waiting for the law or the government, took it upon themselves to practice what Jesus had preached. Thus was the Law of the Lord not destroyed, but fulfilled, right under the nose of a selfish, brutal, and hypocritical ruling class which gave lip service to the Lord but practiced the laws of Baal.

Even so, this is not the final jubilee. According to the Bible, there is one more to come, that described by Ezekiel and the book of Revelation. It is also referred to in Matt. 24.3 1: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds." I Cor. 15.51: "Behold, I show you a secret: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and we shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed... thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ... your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Finally in the book of Revelation (Chap. 18) comes the summary of all the prophetic messages, the sweeping condemnation of the world system based on international trade in luxury goods, high living, ruthless exploitation of the poor, armaments trade, injustice and bloodshed, and buying and selling "the souls of men". When this final Babylon" is defeated, to the sound of not one trumpet, but seven, the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven onto earth and the theme of Ezekiel is picked up again as the earth is once more distributed among men in a new fellowship with God far transcending that of the garden of Eden, and the river of life flowing, not through the garden, but through the city, with the tree of life on either side of the river with twelve kinds of fruit and leaves which are for the healing of the nations, flowing on out to bring new life to all the earth.

And the ongoing jubilee among God's spirit-filled people is the foretaste.