“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
Jesus’ visit to the synagogue was not unusual, nor was it strange for Him to read the prescribed Scriptures – every man had his rotation, and this day was His. What made this Sabbath different was Jesus’ declaration that He was the Messiah who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophetic word, and He came with good news for those that the world takes little notice of.
Jesus Christ came proclaiming the Gospel that can truly set all men free!
I will never forget the day God provided the perfect analogy of this truth. I was at Ironwood Prison speaking to hundreds of inmates, and as I was preaching, sparrows flew in and out of the fences, free as can be. I told the men, “Stop and watch. These birds are not held captive by their environment, and you don’t need to be either. This is what Jesus Christ can do in your heart right here, right now. In a moment’s time, you can be set free from the prison that is inside of you, the captivity that landed you in this place.”
God is no respecter of persons. Some of the freest men and women are behind prison walls, while others may be physically free, yet crushed by their sins and taken captive by the enemy of their souls.
The good news is no matter who you are or where you are, God is there. If you open your heart to the message of the Gospel, Jesus will set you free, and “you shall be free indeed.”
Awaiting His return,
– Pastor Jack