"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Most of us know people who are attached to a person or gimmick instead of to Jesus. But some of us have forgotten, or given up on, our own need for freedom. Those of us who walk with Jesus daily are also in need of freedom. We need to be reminded that Jesus has overcome the world.
Two years ago my life appeared to be a success. My ministry was thriving with new conversions and new Bible studies on new campuses. But I began to feel sad. I was honest with my close friends that I felt like something was off. God used my friends to remind me of his presence. They listened to my doubts, prayed with me, prayed for me, and pointed me towards wise counsel. They reminded me of God’s ability to heal my doubt, worry, and pain by texting me words of encouragement and scriptures of hope.
I used to preach freedom from oppression vicariously through my students' stories, but I wasn’t experiencing freedom for myself. I needed to be reminded that God’s power and promises applied to me, too. Now, I am feeling that freedom at the core of my being. And it is breaking through, ever growing. He has come to set you and me free! When we are aware of this freedom and need for Jesus, we can relate to those in shackles, but we can also point them in the path towards freedom, because we know the one who said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled.”
The kingdom of God is a mysterious and powerful reality. The Messiah (deliverer) brings freedom to all people. Jesus’ birth ushered in the kingdom of God, breaking through in full force. Jesus’ death battled the kingdom of the enemy who tries to steal, deceive, and destroy. Jesus’ resurrection defeated the powers of the enemy for good. The final word belongs to God!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways has life with Jesus given you freedom? Who can you share this with at your work? In what ways does your life today need the freedom Jesus’ resurrection brings? Who can you invite to pray with you for freedom?
PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the freedom you have given me up to this day! Open my eyes to see where you want more freedom in my life and the life of my friends. Please give me the strength to share my freedom stories with others. Amen.
Thanks to everyone who has invested in the Theology of Work Project! Thanks to your generosity, we were able to meet all our needs for 2017! We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers and charitable giving in 2018 as we equip Christians to connect to God's purposes for work.