Every once in awhile, my hubby and I will be curled up on the couch watching television and I will hear someone on the news or in a television show refer to the President of the United States as “the leader of the free world.” Every time I hear that term, I cringe. I don’t know where the term originated, but it drives me crazy!
Here’s the thing. (Americans, I love you, but just listen up for a minute!) The President of the United States is not the “leader of the free world.” There are tons of other countries out there who have freedom – Canada, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Hungary, Isreal, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom – just to name a few. All of these countries experience “freedom” and it has absolutely nothing to do with the United States or the president in any way, shape or form.
As I was thinking about this ridiculous term for the American president, I decided there was no such thing. How could there be a “leader of the free world” when the world is not united? But then it hit me. There is such a thing, and we do have a leader of the free world, but it is not what you think.
Americans, if you are reading this, I know it has been a tough week. Your president has done some things that don’t sit well with many people. And he’s only been the president for a week or so, so it makes it that much more scary. But there is real hope for all people, and it is all because of One Man. And it’s not Donald Trump.
“Free” countries experience personal, civil and economic freedom. And while that is a really great thing, we need to ask ourselves – are we really free? Because even if you live in a free country, you can still be trapped inside of your own personal prison. Because only One Man offers true freedom.
The Leader of the Free World DOES exist. And it’s Jesus.
He is the One who came to the world to offer true freedom. Yes, He might have seemed like a political radical in that day and age. But His freedom is lasting freedom. Freedom from sin is eternal. Before we meet Jesus, we are enslaved to sin. It consumes us. But once we become Christ followers, that all falls away and we are given a fresh, new outlook on life. One of hope and freedom (read Romans 6 for more details). Freedom to live. Freedom to love others. Freedom to serve others. Freedom to forgive. Countless other freedoms. And when we are free in Christ, and we become part of this free world. Part of this new Kingdom. Part of this family.
Sometimes it can be hard to be part of this free world while we are still living in a world that seems anything but free. A world that still has a lot of countries that are not free and are suppressed. A world that has a country that is free, but is turning away people based on ethnicity and religion. A world that is building walls to keep people out. This is not the free world we experience in Christ.
Matthew 25:34 – 46 says this:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Jesus’ words from long ago are roaring with power today. Right now, as many people are struggling to understand why a powerful leader is doing what he is doing, we need to take heart. We can not change the actions of one man. But because of One Man, we are still free. And we can still act free on His behalf.
So feed people who need a meal. Give clothing to those who need clothing. Give shelter and rest to those who are in need of it. Reach out to those whose hearts are broken and who are in desperate need of help. Break down walls. Act like Jesus would.