Devotion for August 22, 2022

Free in Christ         

     Luke 4:18        The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…

     He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery

     of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.

     John 8:32        You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!


The Bible is the freeing Word of the Lord!  From the beginning of the creation story to the final celebration in Revelation, God has told us we are free.  Moses was an instrument of freedom.  David was an instrument of freedom.  The prophets were all calling God’s people to freedom.

Jesus is the ultimate gift of God’s freedom.  Jesus was sent to set us free.  And Jesus affirms this freedom again and again throughout His ministry.  Listen to Luke 4 and John 8 and hear Jesus affirm freedom.  It is the freedom in Christ that gives us hope especially when we suffer in captivity.

We keep putting up obstacles. We keep resisting this freedom.  We have learned to live in captivity, and we seem to be just fine with that.   Somehow, this freedom is just too good to be true.

From the beginning, humanity has not been able to accept this freedom.  At the end of John 8, the hearers are ready to stone Jesus.  The Pharisees continually put “law within law” to keep us bound up.  And the modern church puts obstacles of guilt and division upon her people.  Sexism, ageism, racism, consumerism, and lots of other “ism’s” continually keep us captive.  We keep putting up obstacles.

One church I served had a requirement that one had to a member for two years before serving on any committee!  “Why is this?” I inquired.  “Because,” said the church leader, “We intend to keep our church pure!”  Purity and perfectionism are their own kinds of captivity.  We are captives to our own egos, to our own arrogance.  We are bound up in our own pride.  We imprisoned by our own false senses of security.

Only in Jesus can we be truly free.   We know this, we hope for this, we pray for this, and we seek this.  Yet, somehow, we still can’t grasp this.  In John 8:36, Jesus states, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”  Let us proclaim this freedom to all of us who are captives and let us live boldly in the freedom of the Christ!

Protect us, O God, from our own inadequacies and obstacles.  Allow us to proclaim your freedom, grasp your freedom and live boldly in the freedom of Christ in the world.   Amen.