The Way DAY 13 - Freedom to Love

Day 13 - Freedom to Love

Luke 4:22-30

Everyone loves freedom, right? Then why did people get so mad at Jesus during his hometown sermon? At first, in v.23, everyone’s impressed. It’s all, “Wow, that’s Jesus! He’s from here! Wonder how he got so smart…? Can’t wait til we get some of this freedom!” 

But Jesus sounds defensive in v.23, doesn’t he? He anticipates some attitude from his hometown neighbors. He knows they're gonna expect special treatment from the local boy who made it big. Even today we expect celebrities to remember where they came from. “You made your millions! How about showing some love for your humble roots?”

Jesus twists the knife even more. He reaches back for two more stories from the Old Testament. Elijah the prophet could have helped one of the widows in his homeland. But God sent him to a non-Jew. Elisha could have healed a leper in Israel, but instead God sent him an unbelieving foreigner. 

What’s Jesus doing? He’s exposing a selfish attitude in the people he knows best. Isn't it the people who know us best that can really see the things we’re so good at hiding? I call this attitude the “what about me” attitude. 

Someone else is successful. What about me? Someone else got helped. What about me? Someone I know made it big. What about me? Will they share the wealth?

You can’t be obsessed with yourself on the way of Jesus. Christian freedom doesn’t say, “What about me?” It says, “What about US?” We are free FROM sin and free TO love. The church Reformer, Martin Luther, said, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” 

The apostle Paul told the Galatians, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Gal 5:13-14, NIV). We’re tempted to use our freedom for ourselves. We are free, but not free to do whatever we want. We are free to think and care about each other. 

Jesus confronts a selfish “what about me?” attitude. We are freed FROM sin TO love. When are you most tempted toward that attitude?

Forgive me, Father, for the times I’ve had a “what about me” attitude. That selfish way of thinking is a prison. Free me once again to love and serve others. Amen.