Slaves Who Think They’re Free

Here’s a transcript of the above podcast episode:

Welcome to Piority Pastor my name is Daren Wride. I just came across a quote that was actually mentioned by a person in a podcast I listened to just the other day. A quote from Harriet Tubman, who was a lady who born into the slavery back in 1822 and escaped to freedom and then helped rescue many others from slavery. Just a fascinating individual.

I read up on her a bit after I came across this quote. Even the intro in Wikipedia is fascinating and she’s obviously an incredibly amazing woman. The quote that this fellow mentioned in this podcast was a quote from Harriet Tubman where she said “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

When I heard that quote it gave me a bit of a jolt. It really, in a way gave me a motivation for evangelism, for soul winning. I realized right away “I have felt this this jolt before!” And when I felt this jolt before actually it was many years ago, the very first time I watched the movie The Matrix. And without going in great detail, maybe you’ve seen it maybe you haven’t, this idea of being slaves and not knowing that you’re a slave… Right at the end of the Matrix Neo is talking into the phone and kind of laying down his mission in a sense. I left that movie wanting to reach people for Jesus.

I actually felt somewhat similar, not as intense but very similar, after another movie. The Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams is a really old movie now. I came out of that movie thinking “People need Jesus. I’ve got to do something about that!”

And it’s been interesting because yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day working on some evangelism training, putting together what I’m calling a crash course in personal evangelism. It’s about a 90 minute course that people can jump into here at the church I’m serving to just give them some broad strokes training for evangelism. It’s a workshop moving them into personal evangelism.

One of the principles that people need to hear as they’re thinking about evangelism is that we tend to think people who don’t know Jesus are more together than they really are. We tend to think that people who look together- who are well groomed, and well off financially, and have a great public image- we tend to think they’ve got it all figured out, that they don’t even know they need Jesus in some cases, or that they have some need. And the truth is that without Jesus they don’t have it altogether. And that experientially, without Jesus they know they don’t have it altogether. They don’t know what the gap is. They know there is a gap and they’re trying to fill it with so many things.

That’s why making disciples, being a disciple who makes disciples, is really about being a person who frees slaves, whose life ties right in with the message of Jesus. Jesus in Luke Chapter 4 says “The spirit of the Lord is on me because he’s anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for prisoners recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” That’s the mission of Jesus.

That’s the mission he invites us his people to participate in, seeking and saving the lost, breaking chains, setting slaves free. But what happens if people don’t know they’re slaves? That’s the dilemma right? Because you know the good news has the bad news. The good news, the gospel of the sacrifice of Jesus and salvation, forgiveness, the whole story, is preceded by the bad news that we’re slaves, that we need forgiveness, that we’re separated from our Creator, that our eternal destiny is not terribly appealing without him.

But people don’t know that so I’ve been mulling on how do we how do we let people know they’re slaves? You can’t walk right up to them and just say “Hey, by the way you’re a slave!” If you watch the movie The Matrix the idea that you’re a slave is very hard to process. It takes, in the case of our spiritual lives, it takes divine revelation, it’s a work of the Spirit to open our eyes so that we can turn, as it says in Acts, from darkness to light from the power of Satan to God.

But here’s a thought I’ve had: Maybe those who are slaves will know that they are slaves, when they meet someone who’s truly free. Let me say that again: Maybe those who are slaves will know that they’re slaves when they meet someone who’s truly free.

Not just someone who spouts off religious terms who tries to act like they’ve got it all together, but someone who’s authentic, who is walking with Jesus, who doesn’t have it all figured out, but knows the One who’s got it all figured out. [Someone] whose chains have been broken and is moving ahead. It’s a thought I might leave with you today. I know it’s going to be rolling through my mind in the hours and the days ahead.

Let’s show them that there is such a thing as freedom. Then maybe they’ll know that they’re slaves. Thanks for listening. Press on.

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