Still, there was a way. All he had to do was go on a diet. His brother even promised to restore to Raynald his title and wealth as soon as he was able to leave the room. But it just so happened that his brother knew Raynald’s weakness — food!
So each day trays of rich, delicious, fattening foods were delivered to Raynald’s prison, compliments of his brother. And each day Raynald ate everything on those trays. Instead of growing thinner, Raynald grew fatter than ever. His was a prison not of bars and locks, but of his own appetite.
This week we celebrate Independence Day. But the sad truth is that while we live in the home of the free, many people in these United States of America are not free at all. Like Raynald III, they are prisoners, but not with bars and locks. Other things have imprisoned them, and they need to be set free.
Ironically, many people living in prison today fail to see it as such. John 8 records the conversation between Jesus and a group of people who didn’t know they were in bondage. They denied the very idea. They argued vehemently that they were free. Jesus simply pointed that not only were they members of a conquered nation living under Roman dominance, but they were personally slaves of sin to boot. “Everyone who sins is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).
Prisons of sin abound today, but so do other kinds of prisons. Many wake up each morning in a prison of painful circumstances from which there seems no chance of escape. Others live each day incarcerated in a prison of fear. The different types of prisons are too numerous to name here. The good news for all is that Jesus Christ holds the key that unlocks prison doors and sets the captives free!
“Therefore is the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy as a citizen of this great nation. I am infinitely more thankful for the freedoms that are mine as a Christian. The one is temporal. The other is eternal. In our celebration of Independence Day, let’s remember to celebrate this great fact — in Christ we are free indeed.
Pastor Todd Weston