Redemptive Steps – Taking back what is God’s.


The idea of finding or taking back what was lost is appealing to most. The one looking for lost car keys or credit cards is overjoyed when the lost items are recovered. My friend’s car has been stolen several times. But every time the car is missing from his driveway, the police find it, and call him to reclaim his stolen car. Even though his car has nearly 500,000 miles on it, he is always thrilled with the recovery because the old car has value to him.

One day, as recorded in Matthew 12, Mark 3, and Luke 11, Jesus recovered what was lost. He demonstrated that he came to release individuals from the oppression of darkness. While some observers were amazed or astounded, others were critical saying that Jesus could only do this because he himself was evil. Matthew recorded the logic path of Jesus’ response, “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” Why would Satan want to cast out himself?

Luke recorded the following words of Jesus, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man (Satan), fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger (Jesus) attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.”

Within the realm of darkness, the forces of evil are strong, but by a flick of God’s finger, redemption happens - a new life begins. Metaphorically, God’s finger is stronger than the whole realm of darkness. Jesus enters the house of Satan, overpowers him, ties him up, takes his defenses, and takes away his power. Jesus does this when he redeems God’s children and takes back what belongs to God – His people.

Simply said, Jesus redeems people and relationships. When Jesus redeems one from the realm of darkness, it is as if he buys a slave for the purpose of setting the slave free. But the concept is deeper than just that. When Jesus redeems, he is buying up for himself God’s children to be free to have a relationship with the Father. We are valuable to God. To Jesus, relationships are worth redeeming.

As a conflict mediator and grief counselor, it is always astounding to see redemptive steps in the mediation and counseling experiences. There is redemptive value even in grief and loss. Relationships with others are worth redeeming. Redemption is central to the life and teaching of Jesus. Redemption is the fulfillment of his message and mission.

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’" (Luke 4:16-21). What a wonderful fulfillment He is!

In the months to come, I will share redemptive steps as I see them happening in the midst of conflict, grief, and loss. Stay tuned. Check the “Redemptive Steps” blog at