Word for the Week

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we’re free at last.”

Martin Luther King quoted the words of the old Negro spiritual in his wonderful “I have a dream” speech, as he painted a stirring word picture of a world where racial prejudice and hatred would be no more, where “my four little children will… live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

A glorious vision, but still unrealised in many parts of our world, including places in the UK and the USA.

At the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus read aloud the words of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the LORD has anointed me… to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”  Over and over, as Jesus healed people in the course of His ministry, He described it as “setting them free” from whatever held them imprisoned.  To a woman who had been crippled, bent over, for 18 years, he said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity,” and when people questioned why He healed her on the Sabbath, He asked why this woman, “whom Satan has kept bound for 18 long years, should not be set free from what bound her?”

Jesus went to the heart of the problem, when He told people: “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin… If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  And still today, when we are set free from the fear of death and judgement by putting our faith in Jesus, then we are truly free, whatever our physical state.

Monday   Isaiah 61:1-3
Tuesday   John 8:31-42
Wednesday   Acts 13:36-43
Thursday   Romans 6:15-23
Friday   Colossians 3:1-11
Saturday   1 Peter 2:11-17