What does it mean to be a prisoner of Jesus Christ? Have you resigned from this world or are you still very much a part of it? How are we a prisoner of the flesh? Do we recognise what holds us back in life and can stop us from moving forward? We struggle in this life but look forward to the Kingdom of God when we shall be perfect.
Maybe you remember a British TV series in the 1960s called The Prisoner. It starred Patrick McGoohan as a man who was held as a prisoner in a village, and was only known by a number — he was Number 6. We can learn some lessons from this in our own lives.
Everyone in the Village was given a number instead of a name. Number 6’s name was never revealed. There was always a different Number 2 each week who was trying to get an answer out of Number 6, to find out why he resigned. But each time he was asked, he would refuse to give an answer. The people running the Village had to come up with increasingly more ingenious ways to mess with his mind, to get him to confess all. But Number 6 had a strong mind and resisted attempts to get him to give in.
Throughout the first 16 episodes of The Prisoner we are left wondering who Number 1 is, and even Number 6 does not know, until the last episode, when he was able to create some chaos, and while those in charge were trying to deal with the situation, he then found Number 1 and confronted him. He saw that Number 1 was wearing a mask, and wondered who it was. He pulled the mask off the face of Number 1, only to see his own face. Number 1, all along, was actually the same person as Number 6.
So why was this? Patrick McGoohan himself later explained in an interview that Number 1 represents oneself.
The point being here, that we can all be held as prisoners by our own selves — specifically the carnal nature. The carnal nature is Number 1 in our lives, especially before we are converted. When a Christian is called by God, he then starts to see how evil this world is.