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Some of them believed, remember? Today Jesus talks to those new believers in John 8:31-38.
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
I heard a story once,(and I’m a bit fuzzy on all the details) about a new believer who, once she returned home with her son (who was also a new believer) started to doubt her faith. Her son, guided by the Holy Spirit, reminded her that God promised he would never leave them. He called them his children and wouldn’t ever leave them. Mom’s faith restored, she grew in her faith.
Reading this passage I can just imagine these new believers gathered around Jesus, wondering about their new found faith, despite the criticism and scorn of the Pharisees. Jesus taught them to stick with his words. If they did so they would be his disciples, knowing the truth. That truth would set them free.
Oh, the calm assurance that would have been to them. Can’t you just see them? Oh, making sure they remembered the words of Jesus. Pondering them, growing, becoming more sure of the truth contained within them. At least that’s what I want to see….
Instead…. They asked questioned what Jesus meant by saying “you will become free”. After all, they weren’t slaves, they didn’t need freedom.
Jesus turns them from looking only at the physical. Showing them the spiritual side of sin instead. This crowd would have known slavery, what it means to not be your own person. They lived in the Roman empire where it would seem that every other person you met was a slave. Jesus shows them that being captured by sin is the same as slavery. If you sin, you are a slave to it. Knowing the truth of Jesus’ words will set them free from the bondage to sin. As he says “if the Son sets you free, you will be free“.
The slave doesn’t stay in the home you know? Slaves can be bought, sold, transferred from one place to another. The children of the household are the ones that remain. A slave must be given his freedom, a child of the house already has it.
But once a slave is freed, they are freed. Meaning that if we believe in Jesus and HE (the Son) sets us free, that freedom lasts. It’s not a temporary measure. It’s lasting.
We who believe in Jesus, believe also in the Father because remember…Jesus only speaks what God gives him leave to speak, only what God has taught him.
This means that those who seek to kill him don’t believe in him. They don’t believe him because the words that Jesus taught find no place within them. Listen to Jesus, listen to the Father, find freedom from sin. Don’t be a slave to it anymore.