Set 2014 Free


Matt Joldersma

Set 2014 FreeSome students saw their Sunday school teacher cry this past Sunday. Right in the middle of his lesson too. Their teacher is a big guy. He needs to duck through most doorways. This Sunday he was still sporting stitches in his lip from some dog-wrestling gone wrong. His SUV outside was still sporting his Remington from Saturday’s activities. A thousand dollars says that it wasn’t in his notes to cry. He cried when he came to the part where Paul commanded a fortune-telling spirit to come out of a slave girl.

What on earth was going on? Not just with this tear-strewn teacher, but with Paul and the Holy Spirit and that girl? Paul saw a girl who was not free. She was a slave. She was exploited. She had no voice of her own. When she spoke, it was the oppressing spirit’s voice. The money she earned went to her owners.

Finally, verse 18 says, “in Jesus’ name, Paul commanded that spirit to leave her alone. And that very moment – in Jesus’ name – she was finally free.”


Now, Paul and Silas get pretty badly banged up for doing Jesus’ will that day. But for that matter, Jesus got banged up for doing Jesus’ will. And that for the sake of the freedom of a little slave girl. But not just for her sake either; for yours. For mine.

I think this is what our banged-up teacher realized: that the church’s mission is Jesus’ mission and it is hasn’t changed in 2000 years. Jesus’ mission: to sacrifice his body to rescue his people – whoever and wherever they may be. And who is Christ’s body but the church? And who is the church but you and I: Christians indwelled by Jesus’ Holy Spirit? (1 Cor. 12:27)

So what on earth is going on in 2014? Well, prayerfully it features the church getting at least a little bit banged up for doing Jesus’ will. I think the 30 Hour Famine is a solid beginning toward that end.