“If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:31-59 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The Truth Will Make You Free
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet 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 commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
There is a lot of focus right now on the freedoms of people being infringed on due to the COVID 19 virus. From forcing businesses to shut down, to stay at home orders; limiting gatherings and requiring people to wear masks in public, this country and the world looks very different today than it did just a few months ago. The possibility of a looming vaccine requirement with digital or written certification has caused many to begin to push back. For me the worst part of this is not just that there are those who would manipulate the situation to gain control, but that those who are willing to do that, are also willing that many people would die in order to advance their cause. Surely the true freedoms that we have enjoyed in this country are being challenged and only time will tell what the outcome will be.
Perhaps though, it is even worse when people who are not free are not even aware of their lack of freedom. Today’s text begins saying: So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” Romans 3:23 says: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Psalm 14:1-3 says: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Many people are not free and they are not even aware of their bondage. That sin enslaves is apparent. Consider that most people don’t jump right into tremendous evil, but rather begin just a little over the line, then progress into greater sin. Regardless of what the nature of sin is, people are seldom if ever satisfied to remain just that little bit over the line. For the one who is addicted to drugs, each day produces a greater need or desire to satisfy. The same is true with sins of immorality and greed. There is a constant desire for more. That’s how an addict once explained his addiction to me. He said regardless of the addiction, what he was really addicted to was more.
All have sinned, but we are not all tempted to sin by the same things. James 1:13-18 says: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. It is both death in this life, because of the life controlling bondage to sin and death in the eternal spiritual life, being seperated from God. James continues: Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. Again Jesus says: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The outcome of the situation and circumstances of the world regarding freedom are yet to be determined. There is no doubt that the battles and challenges will continue. The outcome of our personal freedom from slavery though has already been determined. It was decided and provided for two thousand years ago on the cross, when Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) John 3:16: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Those are His words. That’s the truth!
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit that while the situations and circumstances on earth may be left to doubt, You have determined the eternal things. In You there is freedom even in the midst of the bondage of governments. I believe in You and Your word which sets me free. Amen.