What Is the Nature of This Bondage?

My sophomore bible class is reading through the book The Robe right now. It’s a fantastic book and I wish I could get them more interested in it, but they are, after all, fifteen and sixteen years old.

Anyways, in reading it aloud this morning I read through a passage that really jumped out at me. Demetrius, the slave of a Roman Centurion, is comparing his own plight with that of the subjugated people of Israel when he suddenly breaks into a rather eloquent expression of the human desire for freedom; or perhaps the irony of that desire.

” Jerusalem wanted freedom. What would she do with freedom if she had it?  Everybody in the world wanted more freedom; freedom to do and be what?

Suppose – it was inconceivable – but suppose the Jews contrived to drive the Romans out? Then what? Would they then leave off quarreling among themselves, and forget their old party differences and work together for the good of their country? Would the rich landlords and money-lenders ease up on the poor? If they disposed of the Romans, would they feed the hungry and care for the sick and clean the streets? Why, they could do all that now, if they wished. The Romans wouldn’t stop them. The Romans would be glad enough to see such improvements, for some of them had to live there too.

What was the nature of this bondage that Jerusalem so bitterly resented?”

I wonder how much of what we say is wrong with our country could be fixed without taking control. Can’t we change lives around us without controlling the lives around us? Worse, are we trying?

What is the nature of this bondage that the Church so bitterly resents?

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