November 14, 2013

The Freedom of Jesus

John 8:31-36

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
—Galatians 5:1


We love freedom, don’t we! In free nations we enjoy religious freedom, political freedom, freedom of expression, freedom to make our own decisions, and much more. Thank God for free-dom!

Jesus, too, values freedom—but it’s a much deeper freedom: freedom from fear, from anxiety, from evils that can oppress and destroy us.

Can you think of anyone who lived as freely as Jesus did? 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.

so free of hatred that he could love his enemies, even those who were executing him.

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.

to love us to the point of dying for us.

to do extraordinary things for the kingdom of God!

Are we that free? If the Son sets us free, we can be!

I am your disciple, Jesus; teach me to live freely, as you did. Free me of any habits and attitudes that keep me from hon-oring you, and help me hold on to your teaching and your example. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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