Ben Reaoch | Category: The Christian Life; Mission
God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. In that miraculous event, He gives us a concrete, historical picture of redemption. He purchases slaves from their bondage and makes them His own. Another powerful picture of this is in the relationship of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer. At the Lord’s instruction, Hosea “bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” He redeemed her, in a way that serves as a parable of the way God redeems His people.
In the Person of Jesus Christ, we see the God-Man who became one of us and died in our place in order to pay the price for our redemption. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25a).
We are slaves set free. We were once in bondage to sin, but now we are free indeed! Jesus’ ministry was focused on this very thing. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives. In Luke 4 He stood up in the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and with a boldness that shocked and angered those who heard Him, He declared that these words from Isaiah 61 were being fulfilled in their hearing: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Notice the way that these words from Isaiah characterize Jesus’ ministry. It involves preaching. Jesus came to proclaim the good news—the Gospel. But also notice who He’s preaching to. He’s proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. I believe these descriptions speak of both spiritual and physical oppression. Blindness, poverty, bondage, oppression can all be ways of describing our spiritual condition apart from Christ. But we should not overlook the fact that Jesus gravitated toward those who were literally, physically poor and oppressed. Later in Luke 4, Jesus frees a man from demonic oppression, and He heals many. He had a special compassion for the hurting, for the poor, for the oppressed.
In light of this, here are some ways we can emulate Jesus’ ministry of proclaiming liberty to the captives.
Let us be a people who relish the freedom bought for us by Christ. And as liberated people, let us, in turn, proclaim this message of liberty to others.
The purpose of our church blog is to serve the overall mission of our church: to delight in the beauty of God's greatness,