The Politics of Jubilee
The radical nature of the politics of the Kingdom broke forth when Jesus, reading from Isa. 61, ended with these words ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’ (Lk. 4:16-21). The politics that Jesus proclaimed was the time of Jubilee. Jubilee in OT Scripture was that time when debts were cancelled, slaves were redeemed, ancient tribal lands restored. It was a time of healing, freedom from bondage and justice being administered fairly. Such a bold promise was bound to be misinterpreted by the fanatical and the misguided and sure enough, as Jesus went on to say that these promises were applicable to foreigners (v.26,27) it soon became a lynching party! UKIP would be a tea-party compared to the prevailing views in Nazareth.
Rather than the consumer politics of today based on what appeals to ‘me’ (my pension, my hospital treatment, my student loan, etc) the Christian view should be what kind of World does Jesus want? A peek at the end of the Bible and we see no more sickness, no more wars, no more pain, no more death. All these are part of the old order that will pass away. We live in a fallen World but the vision that God gives is one that Christians should be working towards.
When representatives from the different political parties come to St. Peter’s for an open meeting, will we have questions for the candidates that will make them think again of the kind of vision that they offer compared to the one Jesus offers?