To Proclaim Liberty To The Captives
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 meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captivesand recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty those who are oppressed,to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
I recently shared a post on Facebook. It is as follows:
Christianity should feel like “my chains fell off” not “I better not screw up”. (Mindful Christianity Today)
A few days ago, the church observed Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent in the Church year.
Every year on the first Sunday in Lent, the Sunday after Ash Wednesday, the reading from the Gospel is one of the accounts of the Temptation of Jesus. This year the reading is Luke 4:1-13.
In this account of the temptation of Jesus, Luke notes three temptations: hunger, wealth and testing God. The good news is that Jesus does not succumb to the temptations.
The primary teaching is Jesus has resisted temptation when Adam and Eve could not. Therefore, Jesus is reversing the effects of the fall in that first recorded encounter with the evil one.
However, Jesus is also releasing us from our chains.
I forgot where I read this, but one person noted that Jesus, through not succumbing to these temptations, ‘disempowers’ the evil one.
What an interesting word.
Think about it. The evil one had power over each individual. The evil one had each person in their own individual prison. Jesus comes along, overcomes temptation and in the process takes power from the evil one.
The word Satan originally meant ‘accuser’. The ‘accuser’ got its power from pointing out the sins of the individual. The accuser keeps pointing out to the individual that he/she screwed up.
However, in overcoming temptation, Jesus robs the accuser of its power to accuse. The individual is nolonger held prisoner to the words, “you screwed up”. Instead, Jesus has released you and me from the chains of the accuser’s prison.
We are free.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California