Revelation of Liberation

1/22/2023

Message Title: Revelation of Liberation
Theme:
Revealing Revelations
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: Isaiah 9:1-4
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:12-23
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23
Focus:  God’s design liberates His people.
Function:
To participate in shattering yokes.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 4:12-23 Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said: 15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,  alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,16 the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light,  and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death.[e]17 From that time Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” 18 As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 20 Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 21 Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father repairing their nets. Jesus called them and 22 immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.23 Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. He announced the good news of the kingdom and healed every disease and sickness among the people.

EVERYDAY REVELATIONS:

  1. Audience Engagement: Could someone define “late-stage capitalism”?
    1. An entry on Urban Dictionary .Com says “There is no single way to define late-stage capitalism, as the effects are most often seen on a micro scale and the scope is very broad as a result of the plethora of industries.
      Some of the various examples of late-stage capitalism could include, but are not limited to: profiting off of your attractive physique, selling your personal data, selling your poop, dropshipping, house flipping, game companies making every single game pay-to-win, news corporations putting paywalls on their news sites, smartphone companies removing the headphone jack to save money, paying people to say positive affirmations, etc etc.”[1]
      1. Every company charging subscriptions even when you already purchased the product
      1. No hobbies only “side hustles”

TRANSINTION:  – yoke of slavery in our lives

MAIN TEXT: Isaiah 9:1-4 Nonetheless, those who were in distress won’t be exhausted. At an earlier time, God cursed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but later he glorified the way of the sea, the far side of the Jordan, and the Galilee of the nations. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy. They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest, as those who divide plunder rejoice. As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them, the staff on their shoulders,and the rod of their oppressor.

EXPLAINATION & INTERPRETATION:

  1. Isaiah context
    1. Zebulun & Naphtali – MAPs (12 tribes, N & S kingdoms, Jesus’ time)
      1. These are territories part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel that were destroyed by Assyria before Isaiah’s message.
  2. Christian vs. Jewish interpretation: (first, this portion in the Jewish scriptures starts at Isaiah 8:23)
    1. “made the nation great”
      1. Jewish: “They have become aggrandized to all who hear of them, when the nations heard the miracles that were performed for them.”[2]
        1. It has come to the attention of other nations what God has done for them. They are celebrated for the work of their God by other nations.
      1. Christian: Frequently Christians get confused about this language and want to “transpose” America into the place of Israel in scripture. i.e. If [America] shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven (2 Chronicles 7:14 adapted).
        1. Christians in America are not the New Israel. – Christians around the world are citizens of the Kingdom of God – & God hasn’t abandoned the Jews. (Heb 11)
      1. Jews and Gentiles have distinct relationships with God, we don’t need to try to be our sibling. – Look into the discussion surrounding Acts 15 & the Jerusalem Council for more information.
    1. “shattered the yoke”
      1. Jewish: “The yoke which was a burden to Hezekiah, and that he bent his shoulder for this heavy burden to pay harsh tribute, and the rod with which he had oppressed Hezekiah.”[3]
      1. Christian: Jesus’s death & Resurrection set us free from the yoke of sin.

APPLICATION:

  1. As we discussed last week, the words of scripture have layers. The words for the people who originally received it, the words for us today, and the words for believers in the future.
    1. I look at this world and my heart is filled with a desire to see the shattering of earthly yokes and not only spiritual ones.  –not attempt to shatter physical yokesàDoesn’t matter that they died in slave labor because their soul was saved…
  2. BACK TO INTRO: I think a perfect example of late-stage capitalism is from 2017: In 2017 an Apple factory in China added nets to their buildings in order to minimize employee death by suicide. “The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. The company hired counsellors and workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves.”[4] – save their bottom line
  3. Ways to bring about the liberation of Christ:
    1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: what yokes are we supposed to shatter?the Kingdom of God knows no borders
    1. The yoke of capitalism:
      1. do things for joy and do not try to make a dollar off of every hobby—
        1. paint, make soap, make music, garden, sew, build bookshelves
      1. pay attention to where your products come from:
        1. “Made in USA” “Goods produced in American Samoa (a United States territory) are entitled to attach a “Made in USA” label, as this is an insular area of the United States. This area has until recently had few of the labor and safety protections afforded United States workers, and there have been a number of cases of sweatshop operators exploiting labor forces imported from South and East Asia. The Northern Mariana Islands is another U.S. possession in the Pacific that was exempted from certain U.S. wage and immigration laws until 2007, where the use of the “Made in USA” label was likewise controversial. The label is controversial also since all U.S. insular areas, except Puerto Rico, operate under a customs territory separate from the U.S., making their products technically imports when sold in the United States proper.” (Wiki)
      1. Buy it for life
        1. Skip the “Fast fashion” and buy second hand AND learn to repair your clothing
        1. Purchase items for long term use rather than buying cheap items that will not handle extensive usage.
    1. The yoke of politics – loyalty to a certain political party above Christ
    1. The yoke of self-absorption  – loyalty to self above others (Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourself).

CONCLUSION: Today’s revelation: God’s salvation manifests both spiritually and physically. God’s people are agents or catalysts of the physical salvation.


[1] https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=late-stage%20capitalism

[2] https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15940/jewish/Chapter-9.htm/showrashi/true

[3] IBID

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidden-city-longhua-suicide-apple-iphone-brian-merchant-one-device-extract

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s