Summary: How forgiveness is a two way street and how God wants us to forgive and be forgiven to break the cycle.
Over the past two weeks we have explored the message that God wants us to be repentive, loving kindness , seeking a holy justice for all, as well as being in humble love with God.
Today Jesus brings us another message from God, and that message is He has come to deliver people from captivity, bring sight to the blind.
So what does God want to accomplish? Need to understand that Captivity and blindness takes many forms.
Physical captivity of course refers to those ailments that trap us and keep us imprisoned. While we might think of a paralytic, or a deaf person, or a blind person. It can also mean those who over eat, or are bed ridden to a debilitating disease.
Spiritual captivity refers to our way we view God. The Jews at the time of Jesus were stuck in captivity of the Law. They had so put God into a box and had turned the Law into a legalistic document of do’s and don’ts. It was so bad that for the common Jew the idea of forgiveness was lost in the dizzying array of ceremonies and rationalizations that had been constructed in order to provide methods of purification.
Today we do this to ourselves as well, we think that we need to say the right thing or if we do some good works that some how that will counter act the sins we have in our lives. Or we try to justify what we do, by saying God made us that way so it must be okay with God if we do that. Both of these thoughts form a spiritual barrier between us and God.
Psychological captivity is the prison we build for ourselves, as we begin to feel more and more isolated. We think we are too bad or that God would never forgive us from our lives. We shut ourselves out in this way become more and more imprison.
However God came to show us another way? And Jesus explains that God came to free us all those things that make us captive. He had come as a sacrifice for all our sins. He had come to become the new jailor who was about to release us from our chains.
What does God want to people to be and/so to do? If we look back to the past two weeks we see a people that is captive and blind.
1) God wants people to be responsible for what they do, at the same time God wants people to realize that they do not have be a prisoner to their past…..
2) God wants people to be forgiving as well. Not make people prisoners of their past once they have repented of it….
C) What would happen if we took the passage seriously?
1) I think if people really took this passage seriously. Our relationships for one would be a lot better. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do. Not only for the person asking, but also for the person giving. Pride, egoes, and the need to have something on someone prevents both the “captor” and “captive” from escaping the vicious circle.
2) As this passage becomes taken more seriously, congregations become healthier and stronger. Creating a Christ-like environment.
Jesus’ announcement for release from captivity and sight to the blinded, should be seen as an anthem to what the mission of the Church is to do. We the church are provided with the tools to carry out this mission from the Tool and Die Maker and our Teacher Jesus Christ. If we as a church can put aside our petty differences, our “little vendettas”, our we are right and you are wrong attitudes then the Church will grow, God will bless it has it becomes a light tot the whole world. For us in our daily lives if we put our differences a side, if we let forgiveness take root, and let the healing begin then we too will be blessed in ways that we cannot imagine. For we will have been released from our captivity and the cateracts will have been cleared from our eyes. Amen.