Freedom, or Slavery to Sin?
God, reveal to me more of the freedom that trust in Jesus provides.
Read John 8:31–41
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever felt like you were a slave to something?
The clash between Jesus and the Jews who supposedly believed in him becomes fiercer. The acid test is whether or not they hold to his teaching (31). If they do, the truth that Jesus teaches will set them free (32).
This is where things go wrong. The Jews believe that, as Abraham’s children (39), they have never been slaves (33). They missed the point when Jesus said that Abraham would never do what they were doing (39). They didn’t realize that their failure to keep Jesus’ teaching meant that they did not really know Abraham’s God as their Father (41).
Jesus made it clear by contrasting the place of slaves with the place of a son in the family (35). How would you summarize this difference? The Jews may not have been in physical slavery as they were in Egypt, but they were slaves to sin (34).
Jesus turned to the idea of fatherhood. He was telling them what he had seen in his Father’s presence but they were behaving as if they had a totally different father (38). The way for us to know the Father is through trusting the truth of the Son’s words. That way the Son will set us completely free from slavery to sin.
Are there areas in your life where you are a slave to sin? Confess these to God and ask Jesus the Son to set you free.
Redeemer of my soul, I praise You for the freedom You have won for me. Teach me how to live in Your freedom.
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