Freedom for the Captives

By Mark D. Roberts

September 21, 2017

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

Isaiah 42:6-7


The smiling faces of friends that have shared joy.In Isaiah, the Servant of God will open blind eyes, free the captives, and release the prisoners. These tasks are part of his work of bringing God’s salvation and justice to Israel and, indeed, to all nations.

Thus, when Jesus went about healing the sick and setting free those who were in bondage to demons, he fulfilled the mission of the Servant of God. His miracles were not simply acts of godly compassion, but also signs pointing to his divine mission as God’s Servant. Ultimately, by dying on the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin, thus setting us free from the greatest prison of all… death itself.

As ones who have put our trust in Jesus, the Servant of God, we begin to experience the freedom he gives even in this life, though the fullness of our freedom is reserved for the life to come. Nevertheless, we can be set free from that which binds us: from shame, from addictions, from anger, from doubt, from despair, from racial hatred, from grasping greed. Through Jesus the Servant we can begin to live in the freedom and joy of God’s salvation.

When we are set free from our “prisons,” we also join Jesus the Servant in his mission of setting others free. We share the good news of the Gospel. We stand up against oppression. We do battle in the Lord against all that keeps human beings in chains. We love our enemies. We who have been entrusted with leadership have a particular responsibility to seek God’s justice in our places of influence. We can join the Lord in his work of setting people free.


How have you experienced the freedom of Christ in your life?

Where do you need to know more of his freedom today?

In what ways do you participate with Jesus the Servant in his work of setting people free?

Are there other ways you might share in this endeavor? At work? At home? In your community? In the wider world?


Gracious Lord Jesus, Servant of God, how I thank you for the freedom you offer. Thank you for giving up your life so that I might be set free from all that binds me, most of all from sin and death.

Help me, dear Lord, to live in that freedom today. Where sin has dug its claws into my soul, set me free. When I am tempted to turn away from you, may I say no to temptation. Where I am weakened by spiritual or emotional or relational bondage, break these chains, so that I might serve you with freedom, joy, and power. Let me be an active member of your freedom brigade so that others might experience your freedom, justice, and peace.

All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, for setting me free to follow you:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Amen.*

*Verse from “And Can It Be that I Should Gain?” by Charles Wesley, 1738


Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: The Only Mission Statement That Matters

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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