Whatever We Set Free

By Mike Henry Sr.

Whatever you loose means whatever you set free. When you bind something, you tie it up, restrict it or limit its freedom. When you loose something, you set it free.

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Jesus – Matthew 16:19 (also Matthew 18:18)

Jesus repeats this statement twice in Scripture: here, seemingly in response to Peter’s answer, and in Matthew 18:18 to all of the disciples. I read 4 commentaries and came away with 4 different understandings of this passage. The following is my own interpretation.

The Keys to Freedom

The keys are a symbol of authority. The keys unlock, free. The person with the keys determines the level of access or freedom. The keys were given to Peter in chapter 16, but they were given to all of the disciples in chapter 18. The truth of the kingdom of heaven sets us free from slavery to sin. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

You are a Witness to Freedom

In Acts 1:8, Jesus says we will be his witnesses. I think his statement was less of a command and more a statement of fact.[1] Jesus was going to heaven. He wasn’t sticking around to spread his own kingdom. He was leaving us and the Holy Spirit to do the work. We are his only strategy. If others will see and embrace the eternal life of Jesus – life in fellowship with both Jesus and God the Father – they will see it in us, his followers.[2]

The Truth Sets Free

If they see and know the truth, they use the key. Knowing the truth sets them free. If they don’t see it, they won’t know the truth and they will remain bound forever. Our actions as we share the message of the kingdom of God matter. If our key is put to use, we take part in the salvation of people. And if we don’t put our key to use, we won’t take part in their eternal freedom. We miss out on the blessing of taking part in Jesus’ salvation of people.

Imagine you have been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What you do with the keys matters. How will you set free? The way you live your life matters forever to the people you know and love. If you make Jesus visible, you will set people free. And if you don’t, you won’t. Do you see how your actions matter? Do you feel challenged to live a life that makes Jesus visible?

Today, let’s ask God to show us whatever we can free. Anyone who sees Jesus in us can be freed. Our actions matter. Let’s not procrastinate. Take every opportunity to give away the kingdom of heaven today, not by trying to force people to listen to you, but by living in such a way that others may become curious. Our actions matter. Pray for your coworkers, customers, vendors, and friends, and get to work!

Photo by jrperes on Pixabay.com

[1] I first heard Mark Early make this statement on a BreakPoint episode in 2003.
[2] People also see and believe in Jesus through the Bible, physical creation and the Holy Spirit. But Jesus’ plan clearly includes the life and the witness of his followers

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