It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“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.21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:16-21
When you hear the word “freedom”, what comes to mind? America? After all America is “the land of the free”. Is it the pursuit of happiness, whatever that may entail? There are many official definitions of freedom, such as the absence of subjugation or the absence of being imprisoned or enslaved. It is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one desires without hindrance or restraint.
I have read that America is one of the freest countries to ever exist, perhaps even THE most free. I have also recently read that the so-called experts say that the girth of the modern slave trade has eclipsed - by a wide margin - that of the 1800’s when it was supposedly in it’s heyday.
When we think of slavery, for most of us, it probably brings to mind the African slaves of the Colonies and the United States during it’s first 100 years or so. In short, we think of physical slavery.
Make no mistake, physical slavery is horrific, but the Bible is pretty clear that physical state is not nearly as important as the spiritual state. After all, the spiritual slaves are the ones that Jesus came to set free.
Thinking of slavery in the spiritual context, I would say that the United States is in a competition to be the most enslaved nation in the world. The real tragedy is that most spiritual slaves do not even realize they are in chains. I didn’t.
Until I realized that the hole in my life was Jesus shaped, I set about from one dark master to another. I can look back now and see it for what it was. I pursued these masters, they did not pursue me. Jesus kept freeing me from one after another, but I kept looking for (and finding) a new one. Jesus was my Savior, just not yet my Lord. I doubt that my experience is unusual.
There are so many potential masters lurking about, and so many folks that believe that they are their own masters. It is so easy to fall into the trap.
Although the focus of our society today seems to be on the slavery that occurred 150 years ago here in America, the real problem is the spiritual slavery that abounds today. Only Jesus can truly set us free.