Setting captives free

setting captives free

At the onset of His earthly ministry, Jesus made a very clear statement of His mission and purpose. Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, Jesus stated what He was about to do and how His life fulfilled this ancient prophecy.

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 captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.    Luke 4:18-19

One extremely important declaration lies in Jesus’s words.  His missions was to proclaim liberty to the captives.

What is a captive? Who are the captives in our world today? A captive is someone restrained or imprisoned against their will. Today we see these people all around us. Their captivity is in their minds, spirits, and souls. Many people are ensnared by sin, their own sin or the sin of others. Many are imprisoned in their minds; they are held captive by lies that they embrace. They are blind to see the truth. There are many who are held captive by their past. They are unwilling or unable to release the chains from their past that hold them back from growing and maturing.

Jesus came to set these captives free. He is still able and willing to do so today through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What is holding you captive? What lies are you embracing? What pain from your past is enslaving you today?

If you had a dysfunctional family in childhood (as many of us did) or if you had abusive or absent parents, you can be set free from the captivity that lingers in your life today.

Did you lead an indulgent, sinful life? Have you committed many wrongs? Jesus came to set you free.

Were you attacked, beaten, injured, abused, or abandoned? You can be healed and made new. Jesus came to set you from the captivity of your past.

I have met many men who suffer from intimacy anorexia. They withdraw from others to avoid becoming intimate and vulnerable. By keeping their emotional distance from others, and especially a wife, the intimacy anorexic believes that he can protect his emotions and hidden inner self. Most, if not all, intimacy anorexics have suffered some sort of emotional trauma in their past. They have wounds that left deep, emotional scars. They are captives to the emotional dysfunction of their past. Jesus came to set these captives free as well.

Setting captives free – this was Jesus’ purpose as He walked the earth, and it is still His purpose today. He proclaimed good news – it is possible to be set free and have a new life – even in our minds and emotions! Jesus came to set at liberty those who are oppressed and imprisoned.

If you are captive to your past, Jesus can set you free and transform you! Your mind and your emotions can be renewed. We can lay our burdens down and release ourselves to the love and care of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness and cleansing and healing are available in abundance to all who seek it. This is what Jesus was all about and is still doing so today. Another prophecy of Isaiah makes this very clear.

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.     Isaiah 1:18

What do you think? Are you struggling with your past and need to be set free? Do you know someone who needs the help that Jesus offers?

About John Forrest