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“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” —Luke 4:21
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If you are jumping into this week’s devotion without having read the text from Sunday, take a quick pause and click the link to the text at the top of the page.
There are two main reactions the crowd has to Jesus’ preaching. The first is amazement, from verse 22. And the second, coming along just a little bit later in verse 28, is rage.
One word of grace – two very different reactions.
I think if we’re honest, we have this very same response to hearing grace. When it comes to us, when we hear the words Jesus speaks to the gathered crowd – words of freedom and new life – we too have a reaction of amazement. We are free in Christ.
WE ARE FREE IN CHRIST.
It’s amazing. All those things that have held us captive – addiction, anger, depression, grief, self-hatred, illness… all of those things cannot stand against the power of Christ. Yes, they are strong, yes they have power, but Jesus is stronger. So when Jesus says we are free – it is personal, and it feels amazing.
But Jesus doesn’t stop there.
Jesus continue to extend grace beyond the personal. Jesus proclaims freedom and love and grace to everyone. Even the ones we think deserve it the least. And boy, that is a lot tougher to hear, a lot tougher to be amazed by. In fact, when we start to hear about all those who are included in the grace of God – it might even make us a little angry.
So we understand these two emotions that the crowd feels when Jesus proclaims the good news to them. But our reaction doesn’t change the truth. How we live after we’ve been freed doesn’t make us any less free. (THANK GOODNESS)
Yet we are called to proclaim this freedom to others.
We have been freed by Christ. We are FREE IN CHRIST.
Now go, confident in that freedom, to free others as you have been freed.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. What is something that holds you captive?
2. What would it feel like to be freed from that thing?
3. What is something you know holds OTHER people captive?
We are free. Today. Right now. YOU are free.
It might be hard to believe, but take some time today and say this to yourself out loud: “I AM FREE IN CHRIST”
Believe it. Christ has set you free.
Celebrate it – this is GOOD NEWS!!!