Freedom – Week of January 24, 2022
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.
As the children run outside, they’re ready to resume the game they had created. Usually, the game involves lots of running, chasing, superheroes, and princesses. Often someone is taken captive and has to figure out how to escape. At a young age, children already know how important freedom is.
Jesus promised freedom for his people. He was preaching to the people in his hometown of Nazareth when he read these words from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, “He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” (Luke 4:18). Jesus told the people, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21). Jesus declared that he was the long-awaited Savior, the one who would bring freedom.
Who needs this freedom? Isaiah identified them as the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the oppressed. Could that be me? Those words don’t seem to describe me. I’m not poor or a slave or blind or oppressed. Or am I? Perhaps physically, these words don’t apply to me, but spiritually they certainly do. On my own, I am held captive by my sinful nature. Even when I want to do what’s right, I so often fail. On my own, I cannot see a solution to my problem of sin. On my own, I am burdened by the knowledge that I can never live up to God’s demand of perfection.
But I am not on my own. None of us are. Jesus did what no one else could do. He preached the good news throughout his life. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’” (John 14:6). He freed us from our sins through his perfect life and innocent death. He healed our sin-sick eyes, helping us see how to serve him and others in an imperfect world. He released us from death’s oppression when he rose from the dead. We are free!
What wonderful news! And now we are free to share this news with those around us. In our classrooms, homes, and lives, we point people to Jesus our Savior. We thank Jesus through lives of service to others. And, when our time here on earth is done, we will rejoice in the perfect freedom of heaven.
Lord, take my hand and lead me upon life’s way;
Direct, protect, and feed me from day to day.
Without your grace and favor I go astray;
So take my hand, O Savior, and lead the way. Lord, when the shadows lengthen and night has come,
I know that you will strengthen my steps toward home.
Then nothing can impede me, O blessed Friend;
So take my hand and lead me unto the end. Amen.