The unspoken expectations and requirements that society places on our souls is astounding. The pressure to conform in the area of sports, beauty, media, church, community, and any other area of our life is stressful and binding. It is as though there is no breaking free from the yoke society yearns to place on individuals. Is there any way to walk in social freedom? To take on Christ’s yoke which is easy and light? Absolutely! But it will require something that not many of us are willing to surrender.
opens the door for social freedom
In Genesis, we find a man who despite living amongst a corrupt generation found favor with God. Because of this favor, God saves him, his family and the creatures of the earth. But God’s way of salvation required the man to embrace humiliation. Please take some time to read Genesis 6:8-9:17.
During the life of Christ, a woman, considered an outcast for at least 12 years, would be socially as well as eternally set free, but not before embracing humiliation. And just because Jesus, was God’s Son, did not mean that He too would escape humiliation while walking on this earth.
“When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea. One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet and kept begging Him, “My little daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay Your hands on her so she can get well and live.”
So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him. A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!” Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction.
At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes?”
His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
So He was looking around to see who had done this. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.”
While He was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”
But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” He did not let anyone accompany Him except Peter, James, and John, James’ brother. They came to the leader’s house, and He saw a commotion-people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was. Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.” Mark 5:21-43
Noah, the woman with the issue of blood, and Jesus, Himself, were all willing to do the unthinkable. To build an ark when it had never rained before, to push through a crowd even when it meant she would be criticized more, to say something so bizarre that people would think you were crazy. These three surrendered their lives to humiliation so that they could be set free from society’s chains. What gave them the strength to embrace this humiliation?
Strength to endure humiliation
is a by-product of eyes fixed on Christ Jesus
Can you imagine the persecution, the mocking, and slander, slung towards Noah and his family as he gathered supplies and began building an ark? While we can’t know for sure whether Noah endured such crazy humiliation, we do know that his eyes were fixed on God.
“By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
What prompted the woman who was unclean to push through a crowd that would condemn her even more? Her eyes were on Jesus.
“Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!” Mark 5:27-28
What allowed Jesus to speak and do what He did? His eyes were on His Father.
“Then Jesus replied, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on HIs own, but only what He sees the Father doing.” John 5:19
“For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak.” John 12:49
The ability to walk in social freedom comes from eyes fixed on Christ Jesus and the strength to endure humiliation. But does this walk of social freedom come as drudgery? No!
Walking in social freedom is JOYFUL!!
I have been hearing more and more that living a Christian life is dull and boring. Society’s perception of a walk with the Lord means no freedom to do the fun stuff. However, this is a lie straight from Satan who knows that there is no greater joy than walking in the truth found in Christ Jesus (3 John 4).
Noah and his family were socially free, literally. There was no one else on earth but them!! Noah walked in blessings and joy because of the humiliation that he received and the willingness to do the unthinkable with eyes fixed on Christ.
“God blessed Noah and his sons.” Genesis 9:1
The woman left with peace and freedom from her affliction. No longer an outcast, but a child of the king! The anxiety over her illness no longer tormented her.
“Daughter,” He said to her, “Go in peace and be free from your affliction.” Mark 5:34
Jesus considered it joy to walk in humiliation. God was pleased with Jesus’ ability to remain socially free and exalted His Son above all others and made the way for sinners to come to God through His humiliation and obedience.
“…who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2b
“He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
The struggle to be socially free from this world is discovered in Christ Jesus. Our eyes must not be on those around us. It must not be on the things if this world. Our sole focus must be on Christ. Our sole purpose must be to glorify God even it if requires humiliation. If that is our motive and purpose then we can be free in this society. So this weekend, be socially free!!
“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
“Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2
Rejoice in Your freedom
“Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” John 8:36