Spotlight 19/2020: Freedom is also an emotion

How do you define freedom? The determining factors are not always verifiable and objective. Freedom is often just the feeling of being free. Even the man Jesus was torn back and forth in His feelings. District Apostle Peter Schulte, who lives in Australia and looks after the Western Pacific district, explores the subject.

What is freedom? The answer to this question is somewhat personal. Not all people will have the same answer. What one feels is freedom, the next may feel is bondage. Jesus asked His disciples the following question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16: 13). We could say that His answer was personal. The fact that His disciples could clearly recognise who He really was would have been pleasing and important to the Lord Jesus.

What we, as children of God, recognise as freedom is surely a concern to Christ. Ultimately we, with our own free will, decide what freedom is to us. During this pandemic many of us have experienced severe restrictions and lockdowns in our communities, and this has been met with differing opinions. There have been protests against the enforced isolation because this goes against the notion of freedom, while others have embraced these restrictions as a method of trying to remain free from the effects of the virus.

Our motto over the past year, “Christ makes free”, also creates room for some conflicting thoughts. Christ’s own life was one of deprivation, poverty, and hostility. Already as a twelve-year old, Jesus said to His parents, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2: 49). To fulfil the will of His Father included resisting temptation and being a servant to all. In Gethsemane He had to wrestle with sorrow and distress and prayed to His Father, “Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14: 36). He then had to give His life on the cross. Was all of this really freedom?

Christ knew what it was truly like to dwell with the Father and to be one with Him. That was true freedom to Him. He knew that when His mission of fulfilling the will of His Father here on this earth was complete, He could return to this fellowship with the Father.

Before the first sin, Adam and Eve also experienced this true freedom of intimate fellowship with God. And during Christ’s time on earth, and still today, He invites us to follow Him that through Him we can experience freedom from sin and an eternity with the Father.

With the grace that is extended to us, let us clearly see freedom in Christ and make the personal choice to follow Christ and share in His freedom.

Photo: NAC Western Pacific

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Peter Schulte