The Readings teach us that all of Jesus Earthly ministry involved freeing people from bondage. His purpose or mission was to give up His own sinless life as a perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all people – and potentially break to power evil and of sin-guilt so believers could have eternal spiritual life. Jesus ministry freed people from the bondage of false religious teaching and the bondages of physical illness and spiritual oppression. His goal was to free us from our foolishness, our fear and the deceptions and control of Satan. Gods’ children were to have a new spiritual life of love, joy and peace.
1. Jeremiah was freed from his bondage to fear
He was born into a hierarchal religious culture which did not value the religious thoughts of young uneducated men. Religious teachers had to go through a long process of academic learning and discipleship before they were given authority to teach in public.
- Jeremiah was surprised by God – young, no apparent qualifications
- Afraid of consequences – ridicule, opposition, exclusion
- God reminded him of who is really in charge
- God promised protection in exchange for faithfulness and obedience
2. Paul was freed from bondage to the Hebrew Law
Had jumped through all the hoops, studied under some famous teachers and devoted his life to learning – bondage to knowledge.
- Pharisee like the one in the Gospel – missed the main thing
- Modern liberals are the new Pharisees – miss the supernatural
- We are all vulnerable to this kind of bondage to ideas
- Ignorance & sloth are popular forms of bondage
3. Woman was freed from spiritual bondage
This is form of healing ministry is what many modern theological liberals dismiss as pre-scientific mythical exaggeration.
- Exorcism is a lost ministry in many churches
- Exorcism before baptism was the norm in the ancient Church
- Good News is some clergy still believe in and practice this ministry (very quietly)
- Spiritual bondage is different from psychological bondage
- Psychological bondage is based on fear and ignorance – don’t know what you don’t know
- Spiritual bondage is based on a deliberate pattern of sin
- Temptation leads to sin, guilt, separation from God
- Patterns of sin lead to habits of rebellion
- Rebellion opens doorways for demons and evil spirits
- Evil spirits can tempt and deceive from inside our soul
- Pollutes our soul and grows in power to tempt, deceive
- Polluted souls give other spirits a right to live in us
- Power of influence may begin to overcome our will
- Bondage is when a person cannot help themselves escape from the pattern of sin
- Step below ‘possession’ where evil spirits effectively control physically as well as mentally
- Bondage is where ‘spiritual oppression’ begins to control part of a person’s life
- Power of evil spirits to oppress and bind people can only be broken if they repent, confess and ask Jesus to forgive them for each pattern of sin – takes away the garbage that spirits feed on
GOOD NEWS IS JESUS CAN FREE US FROM OUR BONDAGES
This was and is His Mission – and our mission as followers of Jesus.
- All need to overcome our fear - like Jeremiah
- All need to overcome bondages to false teachings – like Paul
- All need to examine our lives carefully and repent and confess any sinful habits that could lead to bondages