John 8:31-36. Verses 31-32, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
In my travels to developing nations I experienced some countries that were not nearly as free and open as we are in Canada. Sometimes I think we forget the privileges we have living in a free country. We enjoy religious freedom, political freedom, freedom of expression, freedom to make our own decisions, and much more. Thank God for the freedom we have.
Jesus offers us additional freedom once we invite him into our lives, but it is much deeper than the freedom we already experience. His freedom is much deeper: freedom from fear, from anxiety, from evils that can oppress us, even destroy us.
Jesus was indeed free to carry out his ministry without being shackled by popular opinion. He had the freedom to embrace people whom others wouldn’t even touch. He had the freedom to speak the truth to powerful people who wanted him dead.
- Jesus was free: so free of prejudices that he could talk with a Samaritan woman, heal the servant of a hated Roman soldier, eat with prostitutes and tax-collectors.
- Jesus was free: so free of hatred that he could love his enemies, even those who were killing him.
- Jesus was free: so free of vindictiveness that he could forgive his friends who betrayed and abandoned him.
- Jesus was free: to love and obey God in a religiously, socially, and politically tumultuous time.
- Jesus was free: to love us to the point of dying for us.
- Jesus was free: to do extraordinary things for the kingdom of God!
If the Son of God sets us free, we too can be that free. Freedom in Jesus gives us freedom in ministry.
Jesus, teach me to live freely, as you did. Free me of any habits and attitudes that keep me from honoring you and help me hold on to your teaching and your example. Amen!