“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” Luke 4:18
Men did not then know they were captives as noted by their attitude toward Jesus. They thought they were in control of their lives and did not need anyone to help them. They were certain that they had their lives under control. “They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:33-34
There is no difference with men today. For the most part, they do not think they need help. After all, we live in the land of the free. We can’t be captives. And yet, men are captive to so many things. There are captives all around us.
Jesus came to set captives free. We are born captive to sin and the bondage that comes from that condition. We do not have the ability to free ourselves from that situation. Most do not even recognize where they are. Jesus came to change all of that. His death on the cross is the only remedy.
How often do we want to help someone because we see the results of their captivity and we want to try to help them free themselves. We only have one thing to offer that can truly set them free; Jesus. There is no other answer in this world.
Even God’s very people can fall into bondage. By the blood of Jesus we have been set free, but how many return to bondage putting themselves under the Law? Notice that I said “putting themselves.” God does not put us there, and God’s Word does not put us there.
Quite the contrary, God’s Word frees us from the bondage of the Law. Jesus’ blood sets us free from the bondage of sin, and makes us His children, with full benefits of children. In Romans 8:15 we read that we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” - Galatians 5:1. Why would we seek to place ourselves under something that God does not?
Where men are set free, there is great rejoicing. Today we can rejoice greatly because we know that Jesus has set us free. Free from the Law, free from the power of sin, free from the desires of the world. And as we rejoice, we can share this great freedom with others around us that are captive. Jesus came to set them free.