S (Scripture): John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 8:33 “We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 8:34 Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 8:35 The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. 8:36 So if the son sets you free, you will be really free…”
O (Observation): “We’ve never been slaves,” they say. Short memory. Remember that struggle that led to the whole Exodus thing. But maybe that’s not really where Jesus is going with today’s Gospel reading.
To what are the Judeans slaves? SIN. And an interesting note: this is a singular word. Not “sins,” referring to the acts of sin, but SIN itself.
As a slave, you have no control. So Jesus is trying to tell the Judeans following him, that no heritage/ancestry/status can get you out of this pickle. Only Jesus can. And once he does…watch out! Because you will indeed be free from the eternal power of sin.
A (Application): I’m a slave to lots of things, some silly, some serious. I like to eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and watch movies. I’m hooked on my iPhone. In fact, almost 99% of these devotions are done strictly with my iPhone.
When we are enslaved to things in this world, we will be disappointed. The phone will get outdated, my hunger will come back and I will crave the candy that I shouldn’t eat. The movie will play past my bedtime, causing me to lose sleep.
While these worldly things and cravings cause temporary satisfaction and “freedom,” only believing in Christ sets us free for all eternity. No status as a Christian or denomination ensures our salvation. No act on our part saves us. No movie, phone, or candy. Only Jesus…
And believing in him and his resurrection, and his overcoming the power of sin, allows us to be free indeed.
To what actions and beliefs are you being enslaved? Are these political beliefs? Even religious beliefs?
In what ways are you encountering Jesus in your daily life? (If you need help with this one, let me know, by using the Contact page on this blog : )
P (Prayer): Lord, you set us free to experience the joy of being created in your Image. Draw us close to you, so we can help others see your call to freedom. Amen.