As we talked last week, the enemy wants to keep you captive. Or re-captivate you. Christ wants to set you free. You choose which to take advantage of. Remain captive, or follow Jesus. He had followed God and followed what was written, even to that point when He said ‘this scripture is fulfilled’. Luke 4:16-19 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“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.”
However, at that moment literally, ‘all hell broke loose’. Game on. A few verses later, “all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.” Luke 4:28-30
Jesus simply moved on. From that moment on, He continued to do what His Father asked. He had done exactly that right up to that moment, and including that moment. But that day was different. He declared that He was going to set captives free. That He was ‘who’ was spoken of in Isaiah 61. And what was written was what He immediately started doing. And many did not like it. Because they had a system set up to keep people captive. They had their own fish prisons. But those he came to set free were elated! From that point on the gospel accounts, He chooses disciples, and went from city to city, doing what His Father had asked of Him.
According to the ‘religious leaders’ of His time, He was a dangerous rebel.
He said what He shouldn’t.
He talked to who He shouldn’t.
He helped when He shouldn’t.
He healed when He shouldn’t.
He healed who He shouldn’t.
He ate when He shouldn’t.
He ate what He shouldn’t.
He ate with who He shouldn’t.
He ate where He shouldn’t.
He went where He shouldn’t.
He talked to women He shouldn’t.
He touched an outcast He shouldn’t.
He let the outcast touch Him when He shouldn’t.
He was religiously unclean, and,
He didn’t ceremonially wash when He should have.
He broke many rules they had.
But He broke none of God’s.
He fulfilled God’s commandments while breaking their man-made commandments. He had no regard for their man-made pharisaical law. But He followed God’s commandments to love God and to love others. He even re-stated it Himself when asked what was the greatest commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. Basically, He took a hammer and broke the glass of the fish prison that the leaders had constructed to keep an orderly religion. He broke Himself out of their prison, then set out to set a bunch of captives free. He broke the glass of the fish prison of His day. Just like He said He would in Isaiah. That scripture was fulfilled. And He was fulfilling it. Daily!
Are we fulfilling it daily? We say we follow Him. Do we? I struggle daily with this. My prayer is that we can recognize fish prison activity, and exchange it for thoughts and actions of Him, which not only set us free, but free others too. Pick up a hammer!
As you do, make certain you are not going it alone. 2 Timothy 2:22. Do all that you do in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1. Don’t let the world pull you into its death trap. 1 Corinthians 15:33. You are going to make a difference in people’s lives not just by breaking rules, but by following Christ’s example and helping to set them free to follow Christ. So, don’t think I am advocating just breaking rules. You must be getting to know Him and following Him to help set others free. Just being ticked off at a system and railing against it is childish. Set your eyes on Him, with others who do that, then look for those who are captive, and tell them of His gracious love. Help set some captives free!!
From God’s Word:
2 Timothy 2:22
1 Corinthians 13:1
1 Corinthians 15:33