The simple definition of the word jubilee is: A time of rejoicing.
The reasons behind the jubilee are as numerous as the sand on a beach. But the question for us this week is: Is Jesus enough to cause a jubilee? Let’s dial that question down to: Is Jesus only enough for a jubilee? Does Jesus have to do something or give us something before we rejoice?
Obviously, if we understand the context of Palm Sunday, Jesus only was not enough for a jubilee to continue. The crowd wanted more miracles and the overthrow of the Roman government. God’s plan for Jesus was not going to be enough for that crowd. The jubilation soon came to a screeching halt. The crowd would soon be asking: What have you done for me lately? My title for this week’s theme is: Just Jesus Jubilee. Is Jesus enough for you today? Will you be rejoicing in Jesus no matter the circumstances of your life? Does Jesus have to perform to get your attention? Is the fact that He is the Son of God and was willing to purchase your salvation for all eternity enough?
It is a true statement to say that Jesus chooses to step into our lives and do more than forgive our sins. He does answer many prayers and work in our behalf, but we must be careful not to become spoiled children. Is just Jesus enough? As Jesus was heading toward Jerusalem for the last time in His earthly life, a jubilee broke out among His disciples. The disciples did not understand the full implications of this timing of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But Jesus knew praise was appropriate and told the Pharisees that if the disciples stopped praising Him, the rocks would cry out!
You and I should not struggle to find reasons to sing praise to Jesus. But even if you are struggling to praise Him, God gives the best reason: He alone is worthy. In other words, just Jesus—without doing one more thing for us—is worthy of praise!
Let’s have a jubilee as soon as you finish reading this devotional! Take a few moments and give Jesus words of praise. Maybe you could sing Him a praise chorus! Maybe you could take the suggested additional reading, Psalm 113, and read it aloud to Him!
Our human tendency is to have our moments of rejoicing when we feel happy. Biblical praise is not about how we feel! Jesus is enough for us to have a personal jubilee; my feelings are not required! In fact, out of my sorrow, I should praise Him. When the doctor gives me bad news, I should praise Him. Yes, Jesus, just Jesus, is enough for jubilee. We may not totally get this right in this life, but we will in eternity. We will understand in that first moment in heaven: Just Jesus is enough! I guess one could conclude that Jesus had reached the peak of His popularity. Thousands of Jews who lived within a reasonable walking distance of Jerusalem were heading there for Passover Festival. Passover was a major celebration that every good Jew would participate in, in Jerusalem if at all possible. Jesus was moving in that direction, knowing that God’s timing for His passion was to be during that year’s gathering.
As He moved toward Jerusalem the crowds grew and His disciples began to “joyfully praise God.” The words they shouted are often lost in the preaching of Palm Sunday. The Pharisees didn’t “just listen to the music,” they heard the words: “Blessed is the King!” Insert our modern equivalent: Blessed is our CEO or blessed is our president. Does that help you feel the implication? Jesus was to be in charge. He is to be listened to and obeyed. The king has come. Follow Him; honor Him; do what He tells you to do!
It was this implication that the Pharisees objected to, they went to Jesus and told Him to rebuke His disciples. Change their words and keep their allegiance to the Roman king, and all is well. Call Jesus anything other than king and the world will tolerate Him. “King” is too strong; too offensive; too exclusive! It’s an important question: Is Jesus your king or have you reduced Him to less than King of your life?
Pastor Ben Walls